Lauren Baer, a former senior foreign policy official in the Obama administration, announced Monday she is running to unseat U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City.

During her six years in the Obama administration, Baer served as a senior advisor to several high ranking officials, including Secretaries of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.

Baer said in a release she has raised over $250,000 since she launched an exploratory committee in August.

In 2016 Mast won the 18th Congressional District seat formerly held by Democrat Patrick Murphy by 10 points despite being significantly out-fundraised by his Democratic opponent, Randy Perkins, according to Ballotpedia.

Baer is joined the race by fellow Democrat Pam Keith, an attorney who served in the U.S. Navy.

The 18th district is slated to host another competitive race in the 2018 cycle.

Read Baer’s entire campaign launch announcement below, or click here.

Palm Beach Gardens, FL – Democrat Lauren Baer, a former senior official in the Obama Administration, is publicly announcing her run for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 18th Congressional District. Baer is a resident of Palm Beach Gardens, where she was raised. Baer has raised over $250,000 from donors since she launched her exploratory committee in August -- over $200,000 of that in the 21 days since she filed her Statement of Candidacy on September 12th.

Between 2011 and 2017, Baer served as a senior advisor to Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, and to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power. During her time in government, she was responsible for ensuring that the promotion of U.S. values remained central to foreign policy and advised on a range of critical national security issues related to human rights and international law.

“America’s ability to project strength around the world begins with a strong foundation at home,” said Baer. “That means focusing on job creation and economic policies that preserve and expand the middle class; protecting our environment and our coastline; ensuring that all children have access to first-rate public schools; and guaranteeing that all people have quality, affordable healthcare. The issues affecting the people of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast could not be more important, and they deserve a representative in Congress who will work across the aisle to make government work for them.”

Baer continued, “As the mother of an infant, and the daughter of parents in their 60s, I am committed to creating a bright future for all of our children, making government work for working families, and protecting our seniors.”

Baer comes from a family of local business owners who taught her the value of a strong Florida economy and the importance of public service. Her extended family owns and operates Baer’s Furniture, which was founded by her great-grandparents and has been providing home furnishings to families in the region since the late 1960s. After spending time in the family business, her father founded a commercial real estate company, which he operates from Palm Beach Gardens.

Earlier in her career, Baer was a litigator whose practice focused on international disputes and federal appeals. As an attorney committed to justice and fairness, she had an active pro bono practice that included successfully convincing the U.S. Supreme Court to limit the reach of Citizens United.

Baer holds a B.A. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an MPhil from the University of Oxford, where she was a Marshall Scholar. She is also a proud graduate of Palm Beach County public schools, where she was a valedictorian of Suncoast Community High School.

Baer currently works as a consultant for Albright Stonebridge Group, the global strategy firm founded by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She and her wife, Emily, have an 11-month-old daughter, Serena.