Non-profit executive and lobbyist Jim Meffert (D) announced Tuesday that he will run against Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) next year.

Meffert, a lobbyist for the Minnesota Optometric Association, filed paperwork for the campaign in November, but he waited to officially launch his campaign.

State Sen. Terri Bonoff (D), who lost the race for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party's endorsement last year, is considering running for the seat as well.

Paulsen was a rare bright spot for the GOP in an otherwise-rough 2008. He defeated Iraq veteran Ashwin Madia 48-41 for retiring Rep. Jim Ramstad's (R-Minn.) seat, even as his district went for President Obama 52-46.

“There are so many things worth fighting for: our jobs, stronger schools, health reform, a strong economy and a culture that says helping our neighbors in difficult times is a good thing," Meffert said. "These are the things that are important to the 3rd district—and the issues that have motivated my work."

UPDATE: Meffert's entry wasn't the only congressional news in Minnesota on Tuesday. State Rep. Randy Demmer will run again for the right to face Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.).

Demmer raised a modest $84,000 and self-funded $155,000 for his campaign last year.

Former state Rep. Allen Quist, who stole the Republican Party endorsement from Gov. Arne Carlson (R) in 1994, is also running on the GOP side.