Hilstrom running for secretary of state

(MPR photo/Tom Scheck) DFL Rep. Debra Hilstrom and Hennepin County Rich Stanek on Wednesday March 6, 2013 at the state Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., announcing a bill aimed at toughening penalties for criminals who carry guns.

Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, announced today that she has filed paperwork to join the race for Minnesota secretary of state.  She’s the second Democrat to enter the race, joining Rachel Bohman,  former Hennepin County elections manager.

Incumbent DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said earlier this month that he will not seek re-election in 2014.

Hilstrom, chair of the House Judiciary Finance and Policy Committee, said her goals as secretary of state would include limiting corporate and special interest influence in elections. She said she also wants to maintain Minnesota’s status as a top state for voter turnout.

“I will be a champion for making voting accessible,” Hilstrom said. “I support early voting and making it easier for people in greater Minnesota to cast ballots. And I will really work to reengage disenfranchised voters and get them involved in the process.”

Hilstrom said she will seek the DFL party endorsement and drop out if she doesn’t get it. Several other Democrats and Republicans have said they’re considering running for the office.