Bills clinches Minn. GOP Senate endorsement

Published 7:11 am Sunday, May 20, 2012

ST. CLOUD — Minnesota Republicans on Friday chose a high school economics teacher who said he supports deep cuts to government spending to challenge U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar in November.

Kurt Bills, a first-term state representative and teacher at Rosemount High School, said his teaching experience would help him connect with voters on economic issues. Bills vowed to make “Econ 101” the focus of his campaign and warned of the dangers of growing federal debt, though he offered few initial specifics on his economic proposals.

Bills handily clinched the party endorsement to take on Klobuchar, a popular Democratic incumbent who is seeking her second term and is widely viewed as a formidable opponent.

Email newsletter signup

“Politically, the experts say Amy Klobuchar is unbeatable, she’s a nice person, and have you tried her hot dish recipe?” Bills said. “That’s all well and good, but Minnesota isn’t electing Miss Congeniality this November.”

Bills beat out former state Rep. Dan Severson and military veteran and activist Pete Hegseth after just two ballots during the GOP convention at the St. Cloud Civic Center. Bills assembled a coalition that included backers of insurgent Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul and support from a big chunk of his colleagues in the state Legislature.