MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gubernatorial hopeful Jeff Johnson has announced his intended running mate will be Donna Bergstrom, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

Johnson is seeking the Republican nomination to be the next governor of Minnesota. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton announced he will not seek re-election in 2018.

Duluth resident Bergstrom was hailed by Johnson as a “committed, small-government conservative.”

“She is a mother, a Marine, a businesswoman and a grassroots Republican activist.  The fact that she has such a full private and professional life but still stepped up in 2016 to run for the legislature in a Duluth district that Republicans haven’t won for decades says a lot about her guts and her character,” Johnson said in a press release Monday.

Johnson is not the only candidate aiming for the GOP spot on the ticket. Former governor Tim Pawlenty has also announced that he is running this year.

Among the people welcoming Bergstrom to the race — Rep. Peggy Flanagan, who is Rep. Tim Walz’s running mate for the Democratic nomination for governor.

“It’s pretty historic to have two Native women running statewide. I look forward to seeing you on the trail, anishinaabekwe,” she tweeted.

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