HARRISBURG — State Rep. Madeleine Dean (D, Montgomery) promised to focus on education and the economy when she announced Wednesday that she will run for lieutenant governor.

"I see the opportunity in it — an opportunity for me to expand my public service and an opportunity to do good work on a broader scale," she said.

Dean joined the House in 2012 after working as an attorney and a teacher. If elected, she said she would work to increase funding for the state's public schools, including pre-K education, and to increase the minimum wage throughout the state.

"Nobody should be working full time, 40 hours a week and still need substantial support," she said.

Her announcement was not a surprise. She said earlier this month that she was exploring a run for lieutenant governor and said Wednesday that encouragement from colleagues, her family and others helped cement her decision.

Dean joins a crowded field of candidates running for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. Also running for the ticket are Aryanna Berringer, an IT project manager from Westmoreland County; Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone; Braddock Mayor John Fetterman; Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman; and current Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, whose time in office has been marked by controversy.

On the Republican side, Main Line Republican Jeff Bartos recently announced his intention to run for lieutenant governor as part of a team with Sen. Scott Wagner (R., York), who is running in the Republican primary for governor.