Pam Myhra, a former Republican state representative from Burnsville, said Tuesday that she is running for state auditor.
Myhra is the first Republican to join the race to replace State Auditor Rebecca Otto, a DFLer who is giving up the post to run for governor. Two DFLers have also announced campaigns.
If elected, Myhra said she would take a different approach than Otto to guarding public money.
Otto in recent years has been fighting a 2015 law that allows counties to use private accounting firms, instead of her office, for audits. She has said it diminishes her office's ability to protect taxpayers. Myhra disagreed, and said counties should have the option of choosing other firms.
"Where the current state auditor has been reluctant to revisit statute, I will be taking a very hard look at it and proposing legislation that will have the taxpayer in mind," she said.
Myhra, 60, is a certified public accountant and former audit manager for an international public accounting firm. She served as a state representative from 2011 to 2014, and is currently state president of the Minnesota Federation of Republican Women.
"I have been asked probably 100 times since 2009 to run for this office," said Myhra, who previously ran unsuccessfully for other statewide posts. She was Marty Seifert's running mate during his 2014 gubernatorial bid. And she launched a campaign to represent the Second Congressional District in 2015, but ended it after about five months.
The DFL candidates for state auditor are Minnesota AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer and former math teacher Julie Blaha and Jon Tollefson, a government affairs specialist for the Minnesota Nurses Association.