Rep. Jenifer Loon has a new independent political committee on her side as she battles in a Republican primary next month.

"Freedom Minnesota PAC’s focus will be to ensure the voters of Minnesota House District 48B have all the information they need to make a good decision when they vote in the Republican primary election on August 12," said treasurer Brian McClung. Wheelock Whitney, a longtime GOP donor and advisor, is the group's chair.

Independent committees set up to help one particular candidate or another were once a rarity but have become increasingly common in Minnesota politics. At least two gubernatorial candidates are, or will be supported by single candidate PACs and other independent groups may spring up to support other statewide or legislative hopefuls.

In the August primary, Loon, a Republican deputy minority leader from Eden Prairie, will face Shelia Kihne.

Kihne, a Republican activist, has support from the conservative Minnesota Family Council.

"Sheila is running in the Republican primary against an incumbent who, despite her pledge to constituents to support traditional marriage, voted for same-sex marriage last year," the Family Council says on its website.

Photos: Jennifer Loon (on right); Shelia Kihne (on left)//from the candidates websites

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