VERNON CENTER, Minn. (AP) — Republican State Rep. Tony Cornish says he may challenge recently re-elected U.S. Rep. Tim Walz in 2016.

Cornish says he announced his possible plans early to gauge interest from the Republican Party and donors in running in the 1st District. He plans to make a final decision within a year or so.

Cornish, of Vernon Center, will soon start his seventh term at the state Capitol, where he’s made a reputation as a gun rights advocate.

Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin accused Cornish of “putting his own personal ambition” ahead of serving his district.

Walz has represented the 1st District since 2006 and has proven to be a politically tough Democrat in a Republican-leaning area.

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