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DULUTH – An economics professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth with eight years of experience as a state legislator will again challenge Rep. Pete Stauber for Minnesota's Eighth Congressional District.

Jen Schultz announced her bid Tuesday afternoon in a packed room at the Labor Temple — taking another shot at the seat that eluded her in 2022. That time, Stauber won his third term with 57% of the votes, while Schultz collected 42.7%.

"Pete Stauber, my opponent, and his Republican colleagues, they have presided over the least productive congress in modern history," Schultz said from behind a podium in Wellstone Hall. "The gridlock, the attack on women's reproductive rights, the attack on all of our rights and the threat to our democracy by extremists — it has to end.

"And Pete Stauber is part of the problem."

Schultz, a DFL candidate, represented Duluth at the Minnesota Legislature for four terms before she opted to run for a congressional seat in 2022. She explained the loss then because of a late start to her campaign, and hadn't built a team before she announced she was running. Still, she put 30,000 miles on her car while out meeting people in the district, she said.

This time Schultz has more time, financial backing and a motivated crew already behind her, she said.

Stauber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Schultz said she will work to strengthen the middle class, safeguard retirement security and make sure there is access to affordable health care, housing and child care.

Gov. Tim Walz, who backed Schultz alongside former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan and Alan Netland of the Northeast Area Labor Council, spoke in favor of her empathy, work ethic and the way she brings people together.

"And I think one of the things that is really, really important, and it's kind of hard to come by, especially in D.C. right now, she's smart as hell," Walz said, then gave Schultz a fist bump as he walked away from the microphone.