Lindsey Port, a nonprofit director in Burnsville and past Minnesota House candidate, began her campaign for Republican State Sen. Dan Hall's seat this week.
"The issues facing us today are urgent, they keep us up at night balancing budgets, fearing for the safety of our children, and praying we don’t encounter a health crisis that will bankrupt us," Port wrote in a news release Wednesday.
"In these divided times, we must come together to fight for our values, bring the voices of our community into the process, and demand results."
Port had said earlier this month she was considering the move after seeking a House seat in 2016 and 2018.
She said gun reform, funding education and wider access to health care are her priorities. She and her husband have two daughters, and she directs the nonprofit Blueprint Campaigns, which aims to help leaders of underrepresented communities in and around Minnesota.
Port now heads into a Democrat primary against Robert Timmerman of Burnsville, who worked as an auditor until starting his campaign, before next year's general election.
Timmerman said his priorities include health care efficiency, protecting the environment and expanding access to education in early childhood and after high school.
Hall, who was first elected in 2010, previously said he plans to run again and credited Republicans with making sure Minnesota's government doesn't get too big or control too much. He won in 2016 with 55% of the vote.