State Auditor Rebecca Otto has thrown her hat in the ring to become Minnesota's next governor, announcing her candidacy Monday morning.
Otto, who is into her third term as state auditor, is kicking off a statewide "listening tour" in Stillwater Monday evening, where she intends to "gather information regarding the most important issues" facing Minnesotans.
Gov. Mark Dayton is stepping down at the end of his current term, leaving the state without an incumbent, and there are expected to be a significant number of candidates vying for their party's nomination.
Otto is the third Democrat to announce they are running, following St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Rep. Erin Murphy of St. Paul, who have both declared their interest in the past few months.
Otto had been expected to enter the fray, and says over the next few weeks she will be engaging with Minnesotans to discuss "what do we want our future to be?"
She spoke about her candidacy with the Pioneer Press, which has some more background on some of the legislative battles she has been in as state auditor and a one-term state representative, which includes a recent fight to stop counties from using private auditors rather than her office's services.
Despite the relatively low profile of her office – which seeks to provide transparency and accountability in local government finance – she told the newspaper she believes she can win people over because "I'm different. I'm authentic."
The 53-year-old was first elected to the auditor's office in 2006. She lives with her husband in May Township, near Marine on St. Croix, which according to her website is a "renewable energy home" they designed and built together and which they regularly open for tours.