– State Rep. Jason Metsa said Thursday that he will run to succeed U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan in the Eighth Congressional District.

“I am running for Congress because I know that we only make progress for Northern Minnesota families when we have each others’ backs and stand up to fight for each other,” Metsa said in a statement. The 37-year-old Virginia resident was first elected to the state House in 2012, representing a district in the heart of the state’s Iron Range.

Metsa is the latest Democrat to enter what’s expected to be among the most expensive, hard-fought congressional races in the nation. Nolan, a Democrat who announced his retirement in February, won his last race in 2016 by just 2,009 votes, in a district that backed President Donald Trump.

Former state Rep. Joe Radinovich — previously Nolan’s campaign manager — is also running on the Democratic side, along with former FBI counterterrorism analyst Leah Phifer, North Branch Mayor Kirsten Hagen Kennedy, and former TV anchor Michelle Lee.

Pete Stauber, a St. Louis County commissioner from Duluth, is the Republican candidate, and Ray “Skip” Sandman is running with the Independence Party.

Metsa said that he’s tried to dedicate his political career to fighting for affordable health care and paid family leave, protecting collective bargaining and unemployment benefits, and opposing illegal foreign steel dumping.

“In Congress, I will continue to fight for … a level playing field for all Minnesota families,” he said.