ST. PAUL (AP) - Minnesota's 2018 race for governor is already underway as the first Democratic candidate is launching a bid.

Rep. Erin Murphy announced Thursday she filed to run governor. Murphy had discussed the possibility of running for the state's highest office for more than a year.

Murphy is a six-term Democrat from St. Paul who served as House Majority Leader in 2013 and 2014. She says health care and education are at the heart of her campaign for governor.

There is a long list of possible candidates from both parties who are aiming to take Gov. Mark Dayton's spot. Dayton has said his second term will be his last at the Capitol.

The early campaign formation allows Murphy to start raising money for a costly endorsement battle and general election.