State Rep. Steve Simon announced on Tuesday that he’s running for Secretary of State. The five-term legislator from Hopkins becomes the third DFLer to join the field.
State Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, and former state Rep. Jeremy Kalin (who represented Chisago County) are also seeking the DFL nomination. All three challengers have indicated that they intend to abide by the party endorsement. DFL incumbent Mark Ritchie announced in June that he would not be seeking re-election.
“Mark Ritchie has huge shoes to fill,” Simon said. “All of the Democrats acknowledge that. The question is how do we take the office to the next level.”
Specifically, Simon mentions online voter registration and early voting as potential changes to the state’s election policies that he would like to explore. In addition, he would like to create one-stop-shop online where businesses can take care of all regulatory matters.
Just one Republican, financier Dennis Nguyen, has indicated that he’s running for Secretary of State. But at least two other potential challengers — former state Rep. Dan Severson, who represented Sauk Rapids, and Kent Kaiser, a senior fellow at the Center of the American Experiment — are weighing campaigns.
Simon’s decision to seek statewide office doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be back at the Legislature in 2015. “If I don’t get the endorsement, I’ll run for re-election,” Simon said.