MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Former Republican State Senator Michelle Fischbach announced her candidacy for the 7th District seat, which is currently held by Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson.

Fischbach was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1996 and served until 2018, when she assumed the role of Lieutenant Governor following Tina Smith’s appointment to the U.S. Senate.

During her tenure, she became the first woman in Minnesota history to serve as President of the Minnesota Senate, initially from 2011-12 and then again from 2017-18.

In 2018, she ran for Lieutenant Governor alongside gubernatorial candidate Tim Pawlenty, but the two were defeated by Jeff Johnson in the primaries.

Fischbach enters an already crowded race of conservative hopefuls. Among her competitors is former Republican congressional candidate Dave Hughes, who ran for the same seat in 2016 and 2018, but lost to Peterson.