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State Rep. Mike Benson plans bid to unseat Walz

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A Republican state lawmaker from Rochester plans to challenge DFL U.S. Rep. Tim Walz.

Two-term state Rep. Mike Benson planned to formally announce his bid for Congress on Monday, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports.

The lawmaker told the Post-Bulletin that he was concerned about the federal government foisting an increasing number of mandates and regulations on states.

"I don't want my legacy to be that I was willing to accept that the better days of America are behind us, and I don't think they have to be," he told the newspaper.

Benson, a longtime former Postal Service employee and in recent years an associate professor of business at Crossroads College, said Walz not passed anything that directly matters to the people he represents, the New Ulm Journal reports. The story also chronicles several failed amendments that Benson tried to push through the state Legislature.

Benson would be the first Republican to announce a 2014 bid for Walz's First Congressional District seat, although a handful of others are giving the race serious consideration. Walz, a 49-year-old former Mankato high school teacher, is a four-term incumbent.

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