DULUTH — The 2018 Republican lieutenant governor nominee Donna Bergstrom is running for the state Senate seat representing Duluth.

She’s the only Republican candidate to declare for the seat to date and would face DFL assistant minority leader Sen. Erik Simonson, who is running for his second term.

“We need to promote, welcome and seek those who come from broad and diverse backgrounds; those who will bring a diversity of thought to the government decisionmaking process,” Bergstrom wrote on Facebook Monday announcing her campaign. “I have those qualifications.”

Bergstrom, 56, is a retired Marine Corps intelligence officer and member of the Red Lake Nation who has not held elected office. She first ran against Simonson in 2016, taking 34% of the vote.

Bergstrom was Republican Jeff Johnson’s running mate in the 2018 governor’s race.

“The fact that Donna stepped up in 2016 to run for a Senate seat in the middle of Duluth that has not been won by Republicans for decades says a lot about her guts and her character and her resolve. She is soft-spoken, but she’s a Marine,” Johnson said when announcing her as his running mate.