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Congressman John Kline reveals who he's backing to succeed him

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Outgoing U.S. Rep. John Kline has endorsed the candidate he feels is best placed to take his seat.

The fight for Minnesota's 2nd District is set to be a big one, with four candidates putting their name forward for the GOP nomination to take on Angie Craig, who has the DFL backing to run as the Democratic candidate.

And the respected Kline, whose impending retirement from Congress prompted a tribute from President Barack Obama, has endorsed Darlene Miller to win the Republican nomination.

"I believe she has the conservative values and real world experience we need in Congress, and she is the candidate that can win in November," he said on his Facebook page Tuesday,

"Darlene knows what it takes to create jobs in Minnesota’s 2nd District and her experience and leadership is needed in Washington," he added. "In Congress she will help rein in federal spending, help combat the threat of terrorism, and get our economy moving."

Miller is the CEO and president of Permac Industries, a Burnsville-based precision machine products company she bought in 1994.

She is among four remaining GOP candidates in the race, with the others engineer David Gerson, former state Sen. John Howe and former Twin Cities radio personality Jason Lewis.

The Star Tribune reports Kline had favored Miller when speaking with reporters about the GOP field last month, though he raised concerns that none of the candidates standing had yet raised enough money.

According to the Pioneer Press, Kline had suggested he would wait until the new fundraising reports were filed by candidates in April before making an endorsement, but appears to have changed his mind.

The newspaper says his decision to endorse Miller isn't a surprise, saying her "business-friendly image" is similar to Kline's philosophy and notes her campaign manager George Damian is Kline's former political director.

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