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Kline tops $1 million in fundraising; Sarvi forms new finance team

By Ed Felker

Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Former city administrator and Iraq War veteran Steve Sarvi said Monday he raised $145,889 in the second quarter in his bid to unseat 2nd Congressional District Rep. John Kline, R-Lakeville, who continued to show a big cash lead.

Kline’s campaign staff said he topped the $1 million mark in fundraising for the campaign overall and had more than $645,000 in cash on hand. Sarvi said he had $95,000 in cash on hand.

Both campaigns had yet to file formal quarterly reports to the Federal Election Commission, which are due by July 15.

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Sarvi issued a statement in which he said he recently formed a new finance team to boost fundraising, including Cathy Braaten as finance director. She most recently worked for DFL candidate Ashwin Madia, who is running for the seat of retiring Rep. Jim Ramstad, R-Minnetonka.

The Kline-Sarvie race has yet to emerge among the top-tier Democratic targeted races, but Sarvi was cheered last week when the nonpartisan Cook Political Report changed its rating of the race from "safe Republican" to "likely Republican," putting it among 35 Republican seats nationally that have become somewhat competitive.

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Mankato, is rated as having a "likely Democratic" hold in the 1st Congressional District against his two Republican challengers, Rochester doctor Brian Davis and state Sen. Dick Day of Owatonna.

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