BYRON - Political newcomer Aaron Miller, of Byron, announced Tuesday his candidacy for the Republican endorsement for Minnesota's 1st Congressional District race.
Miller works in sales for a biopharmaceutical company. He has spent 27 years in the Army Reserves, where he has obtained the rank of commander sergeant major and performed four overseas tours in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. He has received the Bronze Star medal during his service.
During his announcements in Rochester and Mankato, Miller emphasized "meat-and-potato" ideas of Republican candidates, such pledging to defund the Affordable Care Act, which he opposes, and being willing to sign the no-new-taxes pledge.
He also criticized four-term incumbent Rep. Tim Walz, whom he seeks to challenge in the 2014 election, for having a "liberal voting record" despite billing himself as a moderate.
Miller will probably emphasize his military background, which could make him competitive because Walz has often drawn strong support over his record on veterans issues and his own military service in the National Guard.
Miller says he is willing to abide by the decision of the 1st District Republican endorsement convention.
Miller's only other announced competition for the Republican nomination is Rep. Mike Benson, of Rochester. Former Sen. Mike Parry and former 1st District Republican endorsee candidate Jim Hagedorn have also expressed interest in a possible run.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)