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National political operative Ed Rollins has joined the board of A Stronger Minnesota, a new independent spending group aiming to elect conservative majorities to the Legislature.
Andy Parrish, who started the Stronger Minnesota group in late September, worked with Rollins on U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign. He calls Rollins, who worked for President Ronald Reagan and led the National Republican Congressional Committee and many other campaigns, "a living legend."
Parrish said Rollins will be an active part of the organization.
Earlier, 2010 gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer joined the Stronger Minnesota board.
Parrish said that in the past six days the group has raised more than $25,000 to funnel into four legislative districts.
Each district features a Republican challenger working to unseat a DFL incumbent. The seats are in the Rochester area -- Melissa Valeriano vs. Rep. Kim Norton; the Baxter/Brainerd area -- Chris Kellett against Rep. John Ward; Brooklyn Park -- Andrew Reinhardt vs. Rep. Melissa Hortman, and Coon Rapids -- Mandy Benz vs. Rep. Jerry Newton.
Emmer and Rollins have attracted their share of both admirers and detractors in their careers, but Parrish said he works well with both and "they are both great men of integrity."
A Stronger Minnesota is designed to be the conservative answer to the liberal Alliance for a Better Minnesota.
The alliance has raised and spent millions in Minnesota elections and has focused heavily this year on electing DFL majorities to the House and Senate.
Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Twitter: @rachelsb