Peggy Flanagan, a DFL activist and executive director of the Children's Defense Fund - Minnesota, said in a statement Friday she is running for the House seat soon to be vacated by Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley. 

Flanagan, 35, is a longtime progressive activist, working on efforts to raise the state's minimum wage. She has also worked for eight years at Wellstone Action, a liberal advocacy group. In 2012, she directed community outreach efforts for Minnesotans United for all Families, a coalition that led the successful push for same-sex marriage. 

A St. Louis Park resident most of her life, Flanagan said in a statement she is running to "give back" to her community.

“I want every child and every family in our district to have the kind of high-quality education, opportunity for early learning, and ability to thrive that I did," Flanagan said. 

Brian Shekleton, policy aide to Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, also said Thursday that he is interested in running for the seat, which is in a safe DFL district covering Golden Valley, Medicine Lake, Plymouth and St. Louis Park.

Photo: Peggy Flanagan spoke Monday at a press conference where Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges unveiled her Cradle to K Cabinet's final recommendations for improving the lives of very young Minneapolis children and their families. (Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune)