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Former State Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg (D) was endorsed by the centrist Blue Dog Coalition in his bid to take on freshman Rep. Michele Bachmann (R).

Tinklenberg, a former mayor of Blaine who touts his nonpartisan experience as proof that he’s a good fit for the GOP-leaning district, is making his first general election campaign for the seat after losing the Democratic nominating contest in 2006. He defeated attorney Bob Olsen (D) for his party’s endorsement on April 26, clearing the path for him to win the Sept. 9 primary and the general election against Bachmann in November.

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the Blue Dog communications co-chairman, said his group looks forward to working with Tinklenberg this cycle.

“El Tinklenberg’s background in business and public service, combined with his dedication to the economic stability and national security of the United States, make him a perfect fit for the Blue Dogs, and we are proud to give him our endorsement today,” Ross said.

The 6th district comprises the exurban area north of the Twin Cities. Bachmann was elected in 2006 with 50 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Patty Wetterling by 8 points.

— Shira Toeplitz

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