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National Democrats Say Second Congressional District Race Top Priority

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is stepping up efforts for candidate Mike Obermueller in the race against Rep. John Kline.

Eagan resident and Second Congressional District candidate Mike Obermueller has caught the attention of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

DCCC Executive Director Robby Mook announced in a conference call Thursday morning that the committee has added Minnesota's Second Congressional District, currently represented by (R), to its Red to Blue Emerging Races program.

The Emerging Races program highlights "top Democratic campaigns" across the country. Campaigns are chosen, in part, by looking at the viability, resources and organization of the candidate, Mook said in the conference call. The program pledges increased financial, strategic and communications support.

Obermueller, a former state representative, , where he beat out fellow DFLers Patrick Ganey and Kathleen Gaylord to get the party's endorsement.

Kline, a five-term incumbent, has for years won re-election by double-digit margins in the congressional district. But thanks to February's court-panel redistricting of Minnesota, Kline faces a tougher road in a second district that now includes DFL-leaning portions of northern Dakota County, as well as southern Washington County. The new district doesn't include traditional Republican strongholds such as Carver County and rural Rice County.

A total of 67 races across the country are currently a part of the Red to Blue program. While the DCCC did not release any up-front numbers for its financial support, Obermueller pledged on Thursday to raise more than $1 million in funding for his 2012 campaign.

Obermueller focused on job growth, the middle class and affordable college funding in his message on the Thursday conference call.

"I'm very frustrated with the way things are, and that's my reason for being in the race," Obermueller said.

"I think what's really going to be an issue here is Kline's record, he has little to show for the decade he spent in Washington, and his extreme Tea Party record has more in common with Michele Bachmann than middle class voters," Mook said. "This district has changed competely under him, and he's going to have a lot of answering to do."

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