Emmer gets fundraising help from Kline, Paulsen and Boschwitz

Former state Rep. Tom Emmer at the opening of his congressional campaign office in Otsego in August 2013. Brett Neely/MPR News

WASHINGTON – Tom Emmer already has a commanding financial lead in his bid to win the Republican endorsement in the 6th District to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann. That edge is sure to grow thanks to U.S. Reps. John Kline, Erik Paulsen and former U.S. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, who are holding a Capitol Hill fundraiser for Emmer on Thursday. Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy is also a host.

Bachmann has said she will not endorse a candidate for the seat until after the district GOP’s convention and is not a sponsor of the fundraiser.

Donors to the event at the Capitol Hill Club, a Republican institution in Washington, have been asked to contribute $1,000 if they represent a political action committee or $250 if attending as individuals.

Emmer, a former state representative who was the GOP’s 2010 gubernatorial candidate, raised $626,000 as of Dec. 31 according to Federal Election Commission records. He’s vying for the endorsement against Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah and former state Rep. Phil Krinkie. Sivarajah has raised $213,000 though $150,000 is in the form of a personal loan from her own funds. Krinkie has raised $357,000 with $300,000 coming from his pocket.

The 6th is Minnesota’s most Republican-friendly congressional district, and political handicappers rate the seat as likely to remain in GOP hands. DFLers Joe Perske and James Read are running for their party’s endorsement.

Emmer’s visit to Washington comes towards the end of the FEC fundraising quarter and about a month away from 6th District Republican convention where the party’s endorsement will bestowed.