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Cottage Grove council member will seek to replace Bigham in 57A

First-term Cottage Grove City Council member Jen Peterson announced Saturday she will seek the DFL Party's endorsement in the race for the Minnesota House of Representatives District 57A seat being vacated by State Rep. Karla Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove.

Peterson's entry into the race echoes Bigham's leap from local to state government. Bigham, the two-term legislator who announced last week she will not seek re-election in 2010, also ran for state office fewer than two years into her first Cottage Grove City Council term in 2006.

Her experience advocating for stricter child support laws at the State Capitol lend her valuable experience, Peterson said in an interview Sunday.

"I've done a lot at the Capitol already," she said. "I was doing all that on a volunteer basis. Obviously I've got the passion and the desire to do it."

Peterson hasn't yet filed as a candidate for the seat with the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office.

Peterson won election to the city council in 2008, collecting nearly 30 percent of the vote in a five-candidate field.

District 57A includes the cities of Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park and a portion of South St. Paul.