FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. -- Republican Donna Bergstrom wants to be your next lieutenant governor, but she's the first to admit a lot of people outside of Duluth may not know her yet.
Jeff Johnson's running mate says the name tag helps at the Minnesota State Fair.
"People say, 'Oh, you're Donna Bergstrom! I voted for you! It's nice to meet you!"
And when she's not greeting voters at the Johnson booth, she's most likely nearby. Her family's pop-up camper is at the fairgrounds.
"We camp here at the State Fair. My son is 13 now, so we've been camping the last seven years."
Bergstrom says the atmosphere at the Great Get Together is great for one-on-one conversations with a wide cross section of voters from all walks of life. And the things they're concerned about cover the gamut.
"We have a form at our Johnson booth that asks, 'What would be your top priority if you were governor?' And we're hearing a lot about education, taxes, refugee resettlement and the Met Council."
Tuesday was Military Appreciation Day at the fair, and those women who marched past the Johnson booth in the daily parade wearing "Woman Veteran" hats were kindred spirits to Bergstrom.
She retired from the US Marine Corps in 2010 at the rank of lieutenant colonel, after a combined 20 years on active duty and the reserves as a signals intelligence officer.
"I think it's wonderful they're honoring veterans today, and have reduced ticket prices and many free events for those who served," Bergstrom remarked.
She's also a member of the Red Lake Nation, on her mother's side of the family.
When you stop to consider that DFL candidate Tim Walz's running mate, Rep. Peggy Flanagan, is a member of the White Earth Nation it's certain that Minnesota's next lieutenant governor will be an Indigenous woman, regardless of who wins.
"I'm certainly very proud of my Red Lake heritage, and of what my mom and her community went through to be able to still be able to be here and survive."
And while voters and reporters are interested in Bergstrom's story, she said she'd rather keep the focus on the person at the top of the ticket in the governor's race, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson.
"Don't forget to vote Johnson!" she told a group of well-wishers who stopped by the booth.
"Tell your friends, family, neighbors we need their vote. We need everybody out there!"