Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher officially launched her campaign for governor today at the farm near Mankato where she grew up, with family, friends and nearly two dozen legislators on hand.
Kelliher, a DFLer from Minneapolis, said the challenges her family faced running a farm helped shape who she is today. She said that like her family, Minnesotans must come together to meet the challenges they face.
"And by overcoming them, we will not only survive, but we will thrive as a state," she said.
Kelliher said Minnesotans are hungry for a leader who understands their challenges and can solve problems.
"People are tired of Band-aid fixes that hurt more than they heal," she said. "Minnesotans want leaders who don't just listen to a few, but who listen to everyone. And that is exactly why I'm running for governor."
Kelliher has served six terms in the Minnesota House, including two and a half years as speaker.
After the speech, she repeated that she has no plans to step down as speaker while running for governor.
Kelliher is among three women seeking the office in a state where governors have always been men.
The others are Democrat Susan Gaertner, the Ramsey County attorney, and Republican Pat Anderson, the former state auditor.
Ten Democrats and nine Republicans are running to succeed GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who isn't seeking a third term.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)