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Obermueller, Kline fundraising numbers point to an expensive race

WASHINGTON — We had a case of dueling fundraising announcements in Minnesota's 2nd District on Wednesday.

Democrat Mike Obermueller raised $130,000 in the three months since he announced his second challenge to Rep. John Kline, his campaign announced Wednesday afternoon. He has $100,000 in the bank.

Kline's campaign hit back a few minutes later: He brought in at least $482,000 between April and June, his biggest fundraising month ever, and he has $1.1 million on hand.

Obermueller raised about $684,000 last year and spent about $704,000, but he got a head-start on fundraising this time around by announcing his candidacy in April of the off-year instead of the fall. He loaned his campaign $37,500 last cycle but staffers said Wednesday that all contributions this quarter came from outside donors, and that "the vast majority of the funds raised by Obermueller this quarter came from individual donors living in Minnesota."

Kline, meanwhile, had $565,000 left in the bank after his 2012 campaign, when he defeated Obermueller by 8 points. He's raised about $740,000 so far this year, bringing his cash-on-hand total to $1.1 million.

Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the liberal House Majority PAC have said they'll target Kline next year. So between the outside groups, Kline's seven-digit bank account, and Obermueller's early fundraising, all signs point to a more expensive 2nd District race in 2014 than we're used to.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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