U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Burnsville, fended off a challenge in the 2nd District from Eagan attorney and former state Rep. Mike Obermueller on Tuesday to win election to his sixth term in the House.
Kline won 54 percent of the vote, while Obermueller finished with 46 percent.
Some had speculated that the redrawn 2nd District lines would favor Obermueller as the reliably Republican western portion of the district was cut out and Democrat-leaning portions of Dakota and Washington counties were added along with areas south of Dakota County.
Kline, 65, a former Marine Corps colonel who chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee, last defeated former state Rep. Shelley Madore in 2010 with 63 percent of the vote and war veteran Steve Sarvi in 2008 with 56 percent of the vote.
Obermueller, 39, an attorney who defeated a Minnesota House Republican in 2008 only to be defeated by the Republican’s son two years later, touted his moderate credentials and being a better fit for the district.
Kline challenged that assertion in the candidates’ only debate in the final week of the campaign. He touted his ability to work in a bipartisan manner to deliver payments to recently returned war veterans, improve charter school law and repeal No Child Left Behind.