Hilstrom in AG’s race but only if Swanson departs

Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center Courtesy Minnesota House of Representatives

A third DFLer has launched a campaign for Minnesota attorney general that depends on whether incumbent Lori Swanson runs again.

State Rep. Debra Hilstrom of Brooklyn Center says she’s in the race but will end her campaign if Swanson opts to seek a fourth term instead of retiring or trying to move up.

“In the event that the current attorney general runs for governor, I hope the people of Minnesota will consider me for that position,” Hilstrom said Monday.

In her nine terms in the House, Hilstrom said she often teamed with the attorney general to keep health care companies, banks and utilities in check.

“I have consistently worked on these consumer protection issues and as attorney general I will continue to fight for Minnesotans in the area of consumer protection,” she said.

Away from the Capitol, Hilstrom works as a prosecutor in the Anoka County Attorney’s Office, focusing on cases against people who prey on the finances of vulnerable adults.

Fellow state Rep. John Lesch of St. Paul and former Rep. Ryan Winkler have also begun campaigning for the DFL nomination but have said they’ll step aside for Swanson.

On the Republican side, private attorneys Harry Niska and Doug Wardlow are competing for their party’s nod. No Republican has served in that office since 1971.