EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen has named former Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk as his running mate.

Jensen made the announcement Tuesday night at a rally in Eagan.

He's the first candidate to announce a running mate in the large field of GOP hopefuls seeking to unseat Democratic Gov. Tim Walz. Minnesota Democratic Party Chairman Ken Martin accused Jensen of "doubling down on far-right extremism" by selecting Birk, who has opposed same-sex marriage, abortion rights and the Walz administration's response to COVID-19.

Birk spent a decade with the Vikings before joining the Ravens in 2009.

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