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Iron Range senator explores run for governor in 2010

ST. PAUL (AP) - Minnesota Sen. Tom Bakk is exploring a run for governor in 2010. Bakk, DFL-Cook, said he plans to test his appeal at next week's state DFL convention in Rochester.

He said he will decide by the end of the year whether he can raise enough money and attract the statewide support he would need to capture the Democratic endorsement. If he runs, he would have to give up his state Senate seat and an influential position as head of the Senate Taxes Committee.

Bakk describes himself as a moderate Democrat with strong ties to labor, a key DFL constituency.

"I'm going to make the argument that a moderate can win -- that elections are determined by the voters in the middle," he said.

Bakk is the second Democrat to file paperwork for a potential gubernatorial campaign, after Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner. Many more Democrats are said to be considering a run.

Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty hasn't said whether he will seek a third term.