Former state Rep. Jeremy Kalin, a Democrat, added his name to the growing list of people who want to replace retiring Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.

Ritchie, a Democrat who served two tumultuous terms, announced last month that he would not run for a third term opening a political void that multiple candidates would love to fill.

Among Democrats, Rep. Debra Hilstrom and former election administrator Rachel Bohman have already filed campaign committees and Rep. Steve Simon said he hopes to make a final decision on whether he will run within days. Among Republicans, Republican Kent Kaiser, a former secretary of state office worker and college professor, and Rep. Joyce Peppin, are considering runs.

Kalin, who will seek and abide by the DFL endorsement, said that he would run the office as a pragmatist and would run the office in an "aggressively non-partisan fashion." On the controversial issues around elections, he said he is a photo ID skeptic who opposed it as a lawmaker, has not seen problems with vouching on Election Day and needs more information about early voting.

When asked, Kalin said he is different from his opponents because he is a small business owner and he won election -- and re-election -- in a swing district, which meant he earned the support from people on both sides of the aisle. He represented North Branch and Lindstrom in the Legislature, who he served from 2006 to 2010,  but now lives in Minneapolis.


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