Republicans finally have an official candidate for Minnesota Attorney General

Chris Barden of Edina filed his campaign paperwork with the state today to challenge incumbent DFLer Lori Swanson, who is seeking a second term. There was no formal announcement. The new candidate filings page on the Campaign Finance Board’s website hasn’t been updated yet today by a staffer there said Barden filed.

Barden is a Harvard law school graduate and a licensed psychologist. He did not immediately return phone messages.

Earlier this month, supporters of state Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, launched an online effort to convince her to run for attorney general. Ortman declined the invitation and expressed concern about the lack of a GOP candidate.

One issue expected to play a major role in the race for Attorney General is the federal health care law. Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and every Republican in the Minnesota House and Senate urged Swanson to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law. Swanson declined.

UPDATE

Barden sent an e-mail message saying he plans a formal announcement next Wednesday. He also said he looks forward to doing interviews afterwards.

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