WAUBUN -- Citing a need for uncommon leadership, White Earth Nation Secretary/Treasurer Leonard Alan Roy announced his candidacy for Minnesota Senate on Sunday, Jan. 12.

Roy, 35, is seeking the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party's nomination in the race for State Senate District 2. In making his announcement in Waubun, Roy said his focuses are on the economy, health care and natural resources.

"We live in an uncommon time that requires uncommon leadership," Roy said. "Friends and neighbors asked me to run because I understand the economic and social challenges of the district. We need someone that will work for all Minnesotans."

Originally from the White Earth reservation, Roy earned a master's degree in public affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Roy is also a U.S. Army veteran and still drills as a reservist in the U.S. Army Reserve.

As part of his campaign, Roy said he's also committed to working to improve the lives of veterans.

"It is important that we take care of our service members when they deploy and our veterans when they come home," Roy said.

District 2 is currently represented by Paul Utke, R-Park Rapids, who was elected in 2016.