ST. PAUL (AP) — A Republican state senator from St. Cloud says he's leaning toward a run for the open seat in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District.

Sen. John Pederson says he's "very serious" about running. He says he could officially file as a candidate later in June.

The 6th District includes St. Cloud and surrounding communities, and stretches southeast to northern Twin Cities suburbs. Pederson says many St. Cloud Republicans want a local candidate in the race. Pederson is part-owner and vice president of a St. Cloud concrete business and was elected to the state Senate in 2010.

Also Tuesday, two potential GOP candidates opted out of the race. They are Amy Koch, a former Senate Republican leader, and Peggy Scott, a state representative from Andover.