BEMIDJI -- Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht announced a run for the Minnesota state Senate on Sunday.
Her campaign released a one-page statement, saying she plans to start visiting different communities in the district to meet with residents and businesses. Albrecht will hold kickoff events Tuesday in Bemidji, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Brigid's Pub, 317 Beltrami Ave. NW, and Wednesday in Grand Rapids, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Rapids Brewing, 214 Pokegama Ave.
"It's been an honor and privilege to serve as Bemidji mayor for the past seven years. I look forward to completing my term at the end of 2020," Albrecht said. "As I announce my candidacy for Senate District 5, I hope to earn the support of the people of Beltrami, Itasca and Cass counties to represent them in St. Paul."
Sen. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids, currently holds the seat for District 5 in the Senate. Eichorn is serving his first term as senator after being elected in 2016. Albrecht was first elected as the Mayor of Bemidji in 2012.
In her release, Albrecht referenced a number of the issues she would like to address in the Senate. They include "assuring clean water and safe streets, saving tax dollars by reducing energy use, investing in parks and infrastructure, and promoting the local economy to add jobs and grow the tax base."
In addition to those specific issues, she also referenced how she plans to work toward a "brighter future for our region." She said she will build on her mayoral work to "stand up for greater economic security for our families, neighbors and communities."
Albrecht is a Bemidji native and graduated from Bemidji State with degrees in geography and education. She and her husband, Mike, have been married 38 years and have raised two children, the release said. In addition to her work as an elected official, the press release noted that she has been a business owner, community volunteer and the regional director of a state agency, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“Friends and neighbors across the district have asked me to run for Senate because they know I will bring an experienced, commonsense voice to the issues they care about,” Albrecht said in the statement. “The Senate needs leaders who are willing to work at finding common ground and make difficult decisions; that’s what I’ve done as mayor.”
Although party affiliation is not specifically stated in the release, Albrecht has been affiliated with the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in Minnesota. Bemidji resident and Red Lake Tribal member Charles Dolson is also looking to unseat Eichorn in District 5. Dolson, 42, an attorney, also will be seeking the DFL party endorsement to challenge Eichorn.