Republican Minnesota Senate staffer Mandy Benz has registered to run in House District 49B in 2012.
The seat is currently held by another Republican — freshman Rep. Branden Petersen — but Benz expects her hometown of Coon Rapids to be redistricted into an open legislative seat next year. Benz says she is trying to get a jump-start on her campaign ahead of precinct caucuses.
If redistricting ultimately puts her in the same district as Petersen, Benz says she will “reassess” her options.
Benz currently serves as the legislative aide to Republican Lake Elmo Sen. Ted Lillie, and she has served in various leadership positions with the Senate District 49 Republicans. She also currently sits as a GOP Party delegate.
“The poll ratings right now show that there’s still a lot of concern about Barack Obama,” Benz said. “As long as that concern is out there, it will help conservatives win in 2012.”
The district covers the cities of Andover and Coon Rapids in Anoka County. Petersen, who hails from Andover, beat DFL incumbent Rep. Jerry Newton by less than 3 percentage points last fall.