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Klobuchar picks up another Republican challenger

Pete Hegseth, an Afghanistan war veteran, will look to take on Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Pete Hegseth, an Afghanistan war veteran who helped organize support for President George W. Bush’s troop surge in Iraq, has filed paperwork to run against Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, he told the Star Tribune.

Hegseth, a 31-year-old political rookie, joins former state Rep. Dan Severson, St. Bonifacius City Councilman Joe Arwood and activist Anthony Hernandez in the campaign to find a Republican challenger to take on Klobuchar. The first-term Democrat is popular and well-funded, and Hegseth told the Strib he’s not underestimating her:

“We understand the uphill battle,” Hegseth said. “We understand she’s perceived well. We understand she’s got a lot of money, and that a lot of other candidates have decided to hold off and not run against her. But I’ve never been afraid of long odds, I’ve never been afraid of the David-versus-Goliath scenario.” Klobuchar’s campaign did not return calls for comment.

Like some of Klobuchar’s critics on the left, Hegseth, running from the right, seems ready to attack Klobuchar on her greatest political asset: Her image as a likeable, non-controversial, centrist Democrat.

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“I’m running to represent Minnesota, because we live in times of great consequence,” Hegseth said. “I think we deserve leadership that doesn’t shy away from large, important issues and problems facing our nation.”

Anne Neu, a Republican operative who worked for Rep. Chip Cravaack during his upset congressional campaign in 2010, will run Hegseth’s campaign, according to the Strib.

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