Meanwhile, in another Congressional District….

Most of the news today is about the driving records of the 5th District candidates. Tom Hauser over at KSTP had a good piece at 6 last night, building on what the blogs reported yesterday.

Meanwhile Meredith Salsbery from the Tim Walz campaign in the 1st District sent this from the Rochester Post Bulletin:

WASHINGTON — House challenger Tim Walz, a Democrat from Mankato who is facing U.S. Rep. Gil Gutknecht this fall in the 1st Congressional District, expects to have outraised the six-term incumbent during the second quarter.

Final tallies by both campaigns are not due to the Federal Election Commission until July 15 and could change slightly. Still, Walz looks to have raised at least $198,000 over the quarter, compared to about $190,000 for Gutknecht, based on interviews with the campaigns.

Walz will continue to trail the congressman in cash on hand, however. He will have about $250,000 in the bank, said spokeswoman Meredith Salsbery, while Gutknecht, a Republican from Rochester, will have more than $800,000, his campaign manager Nels Pierson said.

Salsbery portrayed the numbers as a positive sign for Walz, who she said is attracting crossover backing from people who intend to vote for Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, but are also ready for a new southern Minnesota representative. “If we are able to hold our own (with Gutknecht), then we are really excited,” she said.

Pierson attributed the relatively close fundraising numbers to the congressman’s schedule in Washington, especially since he limits his special-interest political action committee donations to a third of his total fundraising. PAC donations are often sought at Washington fundraisers when lawmakers are in session.

“The congressman has a full-time job in Washington, D.C.,” Pierson said, and noted that Walz is on a leave of absence from his high school teaching position. He said the congressman had a “healthy” fundraising quarter.

Salsbery notes this is the second quarter in row Walz has outraised Gutknecht, but again note that cash on hand figure. MPR’s Laura McCallum has an item about Walz questioning Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s decision to send Minnesota Guard troops to the Mexican border.