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GOP hopeful Johnson picks Bergstrom as running mate

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Donna Bergstrom
Donna Bergstrom, a Republican activist from Duluth, is Jeff Johnson's lieutenant governor running mate. Tim Pugmire|MPR News

Republican candidate for governor Jeff Johnson has selected Donna Bergstrom of Duluth as his running mate.

Johnson introduced Bergstrom during a Monday news conference.

“Donna has just an amazing background that I think complements mine really well,” Johnson said.

Bergstrom is a member of the Red Lake Nation, Republican activist, small business owner and a retired Marine Corps Reserve officer. She was a 2016 candidate for the Minnesota Senate.

Bergstrom said she was drawn to Johnson’s character as well as his campaign message.

“Jeff and I share a vision, that the proper role of government is to serve and not bully, and that our freedoms as Minnesotans are nonnegotiable,” Bergstrom said. “I couldn’t agree more with Jeff’s theme of truly reforming government.”

Johnson is the second Republican candidate to announce a running mate ahead of the Republican state convention. Mary Giuliani Stephens picked state Rep. Jeff Backer earlier this month.

Bergstrom is the second Native American woman running for lieutenant governor in 2018. DFL candidate Tim Walz picked state Rep. Peggy Flanagan, a member of the White Earth Nation, last year as his running mate.

“I think it’s really wonderful to have citizens step up,” Bergstrom said.” This is a testament to our political process.”