Tea Party-backed Gerson challenges Rep. John Kline


South St. Paul Republican and Tea Party favorite David Gerson on Monday morning planned to announce a second bid against incumbent U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minnesota.

Gerson has launched a new website that touts conservative principles and preserving values, and it notes his kick-off announcement is planned for 10:30 a.m. at the Minnesota State Office building by the Capitol.

Gerson unsuccessfully challenged Kline, a six-term incumbent from Lakeville, in the 2012 Republican primary. "Last year, we really were just trying to send a message to John Kline," Gerson told the Star Tribune. "We didn’t run a serious campaign last time."

In particular, Gerson plans to shine a light on Kline's votes to raise the nation's debt ceiling, and he takes issue with Kline's support of national security-related surveillance bills, MPR News reports.

"We want to redefine what the Republican Party is and it's back to our original platform," he told MPR. "These aren't any extreme ideas, this is just us actually voting for our platform. I don't think people get that."

Kline carried a newly drawn 2nd Congressional District by 8.2 points against Democrat Mike Obermueller in 2012. Obermueller has launched a rematch that could make for a competitive race, according to an October poll.

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