Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline reported he had $1.1 million cash on hand to defend his south suburban seat, as a new Democratic challenger stepped forward to make that job more difficult.

Kline, who ruled out a bid for U.S. Senate or governor a few months ago, is one of just a handful of Republicans nationwide in a congressional seat that Democratic President Obama won in 2012. His campaign said he had raised a record $482,000 in the last three months to keep his seat.

At least two Democrats and one Republican want to snatch that chance from him.

Democrat Mike Obermueller, a former state representative who challenged Kline in 2012, has hammered Kline for months over student loans and other issues in his quest to unseat Kline next year. Obermueller reportedly raised $130,000 since this spring and had $100,000 cash on hand.

Meanwhile, Democrat Thomas Craft, a political newcomer, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for the seat as well. He plans a Saturday press conference to announce his plans but already has a red, white and blue campaign website set up.

David Gerson, a Republican who netted 15 percent in a primary against Kline last year, is also challenging him again this year.


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