Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A veteran state lawmaker from Rochester has officially announced she is a candidate for U.S. Congress in Minnesota’s First District.

Republican State Senator Carla Nelson is the second Republican to formally launch a campaign for the seat now held by Democrat Tim Walz, who previously launched a campaign for Minnesota Governor in the hopes of succeeding fellow Democrat Mark Dayton. In announcing her candidacy, Nelson noted the tragic events in Las Vegas and said a more festive celebration of the launch of her campaign would be scheduled at a future date.

“While I have decided to run for Congress, today is not a day for campaigning. This is a solemn day for our nation, a time when we need to come together and pray for the victims of Las Vegas, their families and all who have been affected by this tragedy. I look forward to the days and weeks to come as my campaign gears up, but for now I hope everyone will continue to keep the victims, their families, and the first responders in their thoughts and prayers.”

Nelson has represented Rochester in the Minnesota Senate the past six years and her seat is not scheduled to appear on the election ballot until 2020.

The other Republican candidate for the southern Minnesota Congressional seat is Jim Hagedorn of Blue Earth. He has unsuccessfully campaigned to defeat Walz in the past three elections, but his loss to the incumbents last year was by a narrow margin.