Elected State Auditor Rebecca Otto announced she is running for the DFL nomination for governor in 2018.
The campaign begins with a "listening tour" that kicks off in Stillwater Monday. Prior to her three terms as State Auditor, Otto was a one-term legislator from the eastern Metro.
Otto was elected State Auditor in 2006 and has been re-elected twice, including by a wide margin in 2014. The Auditor oversees more than $20 billion spent annually by local governments. Otto sued three counties, after the 2015 Legislature passed a bipartisan law that allowed some local government entities to bypass the State Auditor and contract with private audit firms. She called the Legislature's move an “unprecedented effort to privatize a core function” of her office and has spent more than $250,000 fighting the move.
Republicans in the Legislature have criticized the lawsuit as a waste of taxpayer money.
Otto also served on the Forest Lake school board and chaired a successful $52 million school levy campaign.
She cofounded a 50-employee business that she later sold, according to her website.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has said he will not seek a third term.
So far, Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman have announced they will also seek the DFL nomination in what is expected to be a crowded field. Late last year Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she would seek another term in the U.S. Senate rather than run for governor.
Otto's candidacy was first reported by the Pioneer Press.