LA CROSSE/EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Eau Claire Businesswoman Rebecca Cooke announces her bid for Congress.

She’s running in the third congressional district — which includes La crosse and Eau Claire.

She hopes to succeed Democratic Representative Ron Kind – who’s not seeking re-election.

She owns and operates Red’s Mercantile and founded a non-profit called the Red Letter grant, which supports female entrepreneurs.

Cooke joins State Senator Brad Pfaff and newcomer Brett Knudsen on the democratic side. Setting up an August ninth primary.

Republican Derrick Van Orden is also running.

Cooke says her experiences set her apart.

“I think what sets me apart is that I’ve had a lot of those real lived experiences. I’ve seen policy fail. I’ve seen Washington fail us, and I want to be a part of creating that change. You know, bring some stability back to our region.”

If elected, Cooke would be the first woman to represent the Southwestern Wisconsin District.