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Klobuchar Getting First GOP Challenger

May 14, 2011

Former Minnesota state Rep. Dan Severson (R) will announce Monday that he is challenging Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), according to a Republican operative familiar with his decision. Severson will become the first Republican to challenge Klobuchar, as she seeks a second term.

Severson ran unsuccessfully for Minnesota Secretary of State in 2010, but lost by three points to Democratic incumbent Mark Ritchie. He is a retired U.S. Navy pilot and business owner.

Chris Barden, the Republican nominee for state Attorney General in 2010 is also weighing a run, as is state Sen. Dave Thompson (R).

Klobuchar is a popular figure in Minnesota, with polls showing her with high approval ratings. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told Hotline On Call Friday that she had no interest in challenging Klobuchar, with her attention on the presidential race. Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R), another prominent Minnesota Republican, said earlier this year that he would not challenge Klobuchar.

-- Sean Sullivan contributed to this report.

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