The first Democrat threw her name in the hat for the Governor’s race.

Dickinson Veterinarian Shelley Lenz is seeking the Democratic endorsement.

She runs two clinics; one in Killdeer and the other in Dickinson. Lenz also runs a non-profit, Sustainable Vets International, that focuses on economic development in underserved communities.

She’s originally from Ohio and has never held a political office before.

Lenz said she’s running to bring western North Dakota communities to the forefront of political discussion. She said current state politics aren’t putting much focus in the west.

“There is a time when you’re just kind of called to lead. I was looking for my own candidate because I wanted to have a candidate from western North Dakota that kind of spoke our voice a little more forcefully and brought it to the state level. And I was looking for a candidate to help, and to help campaign for and everything….and then I kind of realized, maybe I am that candidate,” Lenz shared.

She said she wants to focus on agriculture, energy and soil regeneration in the state.