Justin Wallin, 24, of Pequot Lakes announced last week he's running for the District 12 Senate seat. He'll seek the Republican party endorsement.
A sales and leasing consultant for Mills Motors of Brainerd, Wallin served a two-year term as Crow Wing County Republican chair.
He could face opposition in his own party if two-time District 12 candidate Paul Koering runs again. Koering lost to Sen. Don Samuelson, DFL-Brainerd, by 411 votes in 2000 and received 47 percent of the vote in 1996.
Wallin said he didn't know Koering's political intentions this year and pointed out that redistricting could change the district's boundaries.
"I plan on running for the endorsement," Wallin said. "Right now, the plan is not running in the primary if I don't receive the endorsement."
He wouldn't completely rule out a primary bid, stating "I don't like to ever rule anything out."
Wallin said he'll focus on taxes, state spending, education, protection of the unborn, gun owner rights and protection of natural resources.
In a news release, he said he'll oppose any attempt to raise income or sales taxes.
The pro-life Republican also pledged to work for a Woman's Right to Know bill and a ban on partial birth or late term abortion.
He said his interest in the Legislature was whetted when he served as president of the Minnesota State College Student Association. He said the Senate last session passed a K-12 education and higher education bill that was totally insufficient.
"Investing in our children is the best thing we can do in our state," he said.
The candidate said he was a gun owner and an avid outdoorsman who favored a strong state policy protecting hunting and fishing rights along with gun owner's rights.
Wallin is the son of Joseph and Paula Wallin of Pequot Lakes.
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