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UPDATE: Political activity continues in Woodbury; Metzger looks to challenge Kieffer

A Woodbury woman who first eyed a legislative seat late last year announced Friday that she will seek the Democratic endorsement to run in House District 53B.

Ann Marie Metzger said through a news release that she will file amended paperwork with the state to run in the newly drawn district, which encompasses the eastern two-thirds of Woodbury.

Metzger last year filed to run in House District 56A, currently represented by Rep. Kathy Lohmer. The existing district includes a portion of northern Woodbury.

The area's political landscape was redrawn last month when a judicial panel released new district maps, which included the new Senate District 53, which includes all of Woodbury and portions of surrounding communities to the west.

Rep. Andrea Kieffer, R-Woodbury, is Metzger's presumptive challenger; no announced candidates have stepped forward to challenge Kieffer for the Republican endorsement.

According to a news release, Metzger, a 15-year resident of Woodbury, works as a loan operations manager, having worked for 15 years in the banking and finance industry.

The release states Metzger will focus on community as it relates to bolstering the state.

"I do not believe that our problems can be placed at the table of any one group," she said in the release. "We face these problems together. The solutions should be found together."

Metzger, whose 15-year-old son attends Stillwater High School, took aim at a state budgeting maneuver that borrows funds from education coffers.

"Our children's children will live their lives based on the decisions we make as a state now," she said.

Metzger's announcement capped a busy week around Woodbury, where campaign activity has been ramping up.

Candidates have also been lining up this week for the new state Senate seat.

The latest development occurred Friday, when Mark Wackerfuss confirmed he will challenge Woodbury resident Susan Kent for the Democratic endorsement in Senate District 53.

Wackerfuss, a Woodbury resident and St. Paul schoolteacher, filed in January to run in House District 56B - a district that was realigned after last month's redistricting maps were released. The new maps gave Woodbury its own Senate district and split the zone into House districts 53A and 53B.

Wackerfuss said he intends to file new paperwork today, but confirmed he has shifted his candidacy from House to Senate.

"The quick answer is yes," he said by email in response to a question seeking to confirm his Senate candidacy.

Kent announced her candidacy earlier this week.

So far, he and Kent are only two announced Democrats to challenge for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor endorsement, which will be settled March 31 at an endorsing convention.

On the GOP side, Sen. Ted Lillie, R-Lake Elmo, will seek his party's endorsement Saturday for Senate District 53. He has said he will move to Woodbury in order to validate his residency requirement. Lillie decided on the move after his current Senate district was redrawn and created a candidacy conflict with fellow Republican Sen. Ray Vandeveer, of Forest Lake.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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