The first Republican has officially launched a campaign against Southern Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz. State Representative Mike Benson is a two-term legislator from Rochester who announced Monday that he plans to run against DFL’er Walz next year. Benson says he’s concerned about the growing number of federal mandates and regulations being forced on the states. Former state Senator Al DeKruif of Madison Lake is also considering a run for the 1st District GOP nomination. State Senator Jeremy Miller had been considering a run against Walz in 2014 as well, but the Winona Republican announced Monday that after thoughtful consideration he has decided to remain in the Minnesota Senate. Miller says his growing family and fourth-generation recycling business were factors in his decision not to run for Congress.