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Navy veteran Joe Fraser launches GOP campaign to oust Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar in Minnesota

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Republican Joe Fraser, a U.S. Navy veteran and political newcomer, launched a longshot campaign Tuesday to oust three-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota.

Fraser, 50, of Minnetrista, on the western edge of the Twin Cities area, kicked off his campaign with a media tour that included a stop in Duluth on Tuesday and planned stops Wednesday in Moorhead, Rochester and Mankato.

“We must work to put an end to the crises at our borders, to tackle rising consumer prices and our historic national debt, and to ensure our streets and country are safe from those who wish to cause us harm,” Fraser said on his website.

Fraser served in the Navy for 26 years, according to his website, with deployments to Europe, Haiti, the Far East and the Middle East. Most recently, he was director of information warfare at the Navy’s Aviation Warfighting Development Center, it says. He has worked in the business and banking sector since leaving the military.

But the popular Klobuchar, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, will be tough to beat. Her campaign had more than $4 million in the bank as of Oct. 1. She has always won by comfortable margins, beating former state Rep. Jim Newberger by 24 percentage points in 2018.

Four other GOP candidates have registered with the Federal Elections Commission. None reported any money in the bank as of Oct. 1. No current or recent office holders have indicated a desire to take on Klobuchar, and time is running out. Minnesota holds its precinct caucuses, the first step in the party endorsement process, on Feb. 27.

No Republican has won statewide office in Minnesota since 2006, when Tim Pawlenty was reelected governor.