Chris Dahlberg, a St. Louis County commissioner and Duluth attorney, officially announced Thursday that he is running in the Republican race for U.S. Senate in Minnesota for the seat now held by Democratic-Farmer-Labor Sen.
, 51, made the announcement in New Brighton on the front porch of supporters, promoting what he
calls a return to "front-porch leadership."
plans a similar media event at his
Duluth home at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Dahlberg, who serves in the U.S. Army Reserve, said he is retiring from the Reserve on Oct. 1, enabling him to focus on running for the Republican endorsement at the party convention in May.
It's likely that at least two of the candidates will run in the party's September primary no matter who gets the endorsement.
"I'm pushing for all of the candidates to abide by the (party) endorsement," Dahlberg
told the News Tribune
"But if the others don't, that kind of puts me in a bind."
Dahlberg said he has established a Dahlberg for Senate committee and soon will file with state elections officials.
He served one term on the Duluth City Council from 1992-94 and last year won a second, four-year term as St. Louis County commissioner representing the western third of Duluth.
said Republicans need to find candidates who are electable across Minnesota, a state that tilts toward Democrats.
"We need to appeal to a wider range of voters.
Any credible Republican can get support in strong Republican districts, but what good does that do?
said in his
"We need a candidate who's not only a strong fiscal conservative, but one who has also proven an ability to appeal to Democrats and independents.
I'm that candidate."
is considered one of the more conservative members of the county board.
But, contrary to several media reports in recent weeks, he
has never won a race running as a Republican.
Both the city council and county board positions are nonpartisan, meaning there's no party declaration and no party identification next to a candidate's name on the ballot.
is single and has one daughter, Maija, 9.