A prosecutor and nine-term DFL state representative from Brooklyn Center is the latest in a growing field of candidates running to be Minnesota's next attorney general.

Rep. Debra Hilstrom, a prosecutor in the Anoka County attorney's office, said Monday that her political and professional career both pointed to a run for the attorney general post.

"I've consistently worked on consumer protection issues to make certain we hold industries accountable, whether it's health care, banking or credit card companies," Hilstrom said.

Current Attorney General Lori Swanson, also a DFLer, has not yet announced her 2018 plans, but she is viewed as a likely candidate for governor. Hilstrom said she would drop out of the race if Swanson decides to run for re-election instead.

Two Republicans already have joined the race for attorney general: attorney and political activist Harry Niska, of Ramsey, and Doug Wardlow of Eagan, an attorney and former member of the House from Eagan.

Hilstrom also has two announced DFL competitors: former state Rep. Ryan Winkler of Golden Valley and current Rep. John Lesch of St. Paul. Both Winkler and Lesch say they are seeking the seat only if Swanson steps down.

Hilstrom, who was first elected to the House in 2000, said she has handled a wide range of cases during her time as a prosecutor. But she said she has hands-on experience with some of the most pressing topics falling on the attorney general's desk, including the state's growing opioid epidemic, antibullying campaigns and surging health care expenses.

She cited her leadership on 2009 legislation aimed at protecting vulnerable adults as a particular accomplishment.

"Minnesotans know an attorney general's office is the first place they go no matter what their issues are, whether it's housing or issues with credit card companies," she said. "It's the office where citizens of Minnesota know they can get the assistance they need, and I'm hoping to be the next attorney general."

Erin Golden • 612-673-4790