ST. PAUL, Minn. — Mary Giuliani Stephens has picked a running mate in her run for governor.

The Republican mayor of Woodbury named Rep. Jeff Backer to her ticket on Wednesday. She's the first GOP candidate to pick a lieutenant governor.

Backer is a two-term Republican lawmaker from Browns Valley in western Minnesota. The pair joked that his selection makes their ticket an "east to west" campaign.

Giuliani Stephens says her top priority was picking someone who represents rural Minnesota.

The pair is seeking the Republican party's endorsement at the early June convention. Giuliani Stephens says she'll abide by the party's endorsement.