ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A political newcomer hoping to make Minnesota history has decided to run for the open secretary of state post.

Republican Dennis Nguyen formally announced his bid on Sunday. If he were to be elected, the 43-year-old would be the first Asian-American candidate to win statewide in Minnesota. He’s the first GOP candidate in the race.

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Current Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a Democrat, is stepping down after two terms as the chief elections officer.

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Democratic legislators Debra Hilstrom and Steve Simon are vying for their party’s nomination.

In October, Nguyen formed a committee to raise money toward a campaign. He came to the U.S. from Vietnam in 1975 and now heads two Minneapolis-based financial services firms. He lives in Minneapolis.

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