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Rep. Tim Walz Has First Republican Challenger #MN01

Democratic Rep. Tim Walz officially has a Republican opponent in Minnesota’s 1st District.

Republican state Rep. Mike Benson announced on Monday that he will run against Walz in 2014, according to a local report.

Benson’s declaration comes on the heels of Republican state Sen. Jeremy Miller’s announcement that he will not challenge Walz for the seat. Miller said he was approached to run but decided against a bid after consulting his family, according to local reports.

Republicans have long sought to flip this seat, which President Barack Obama carried by 1 point in 2012 and 4 points in 2008.

Walz, however, has fended off opponents with comfortable margins of victory, including last cycle’s 15-point routing of Quist.

Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates this a safe Democrat seat.

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