One of a crowded field of candidates for Minnesota Attorney General is celebrating her 50th birthday by campaigning in Mankato Thursday.

Minnesota DFL State Representative Debra Hilstrom said her background makes her uniquely qualified for the position. “I served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for the last 18 years, working on issues of public safety and consumer protection,” she explained, “And I’ve been a prosecutor for the Anoka County Attorney’s office and I believe that I have a unique set of skills to serve Minnesotans in the attorney general’s office and be their strong fighter and voice.”

She was quick to add, though, that her experience includes that relevant to rural Minnesotans and, “I served on the commerce committee in my time in the legislature and so I’ve worked on issues of biodiesel, I’ve worked on farming issues – those are all consumer protection issues that we wee in the commerce committee as well.”

Among the top issues she believes needs to be resolved quickly? Hilstrom said, “Healthcare actually is another big issue that we are seeing all across the state. We need to make sure that everyone has access to care, not just health insurance.”

Sitting attorney general Democrat Lori Swanson has chosen to run for governor rather than seeking re-election as A-G.

On the DFL side, Hilstrom will face a primary challenge from U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, former Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, former Ramsey County Attorney Tom Foley, and party-endorsed candidate Matt Pelikan.

Republicans Sharon Anderson – who has run unsuccessfully for Mayor of St. Paul, the Minnesota Senate, the St. Paul City Council, and for A-G in 2010 — former State Representative and GOP endorsed candidate Doug Wardlow, and longtime former State Senator Robert Lessard will also face off against one another in the August primary.