AP photo

AP photo

With less than two months before Election Day, national Republicans are setting their sights squarely on Rep. Tim Walz’s seat in southern Minnesota.

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced Thursday that they were elevating Walz’s challenger, Republican Randy Demmer, to their “Young Guns” list. For Demmer, it means the national party will provide him with additional support during the final stretch of the campaign.

Young Gun status will put Demmer on the map in GOP fundraising circles, which could be a crucial factor to overcoming his significant cash disadvantage.

Rep. Erik Paulsen became a Young Gun during his successful campaign for the open Third District seat in 2008.

The Cook Political Report rates Walz’s district as having an R+1 partisan voting index, but trending “likely Democratic” this fall.

“Randy Demmer has proven that he’s ready to take on incumbent Tim Walz, an out-of-touch Democrat who has blindly supported his party’s failed agenda of job-killing policies and reckless spending,” NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions, R-TX, said in a statement.

Walz will likely use the announcement to advance his message that Demmer is too tied in with Washington Republicans. He has repeatedly made the argument that Demmer is “parroting Republican party talking points,” or some variation thereof.

“Representative Demmer may be a ‘young gun,’ but he can’t shoot straight,” said Walz spokester Sara Severs. “He’s a typical, career politician whose record proves he has no new ideas, only the same failed policies of the past.”

Meanwhile, national Democrats are honing in on Minnesota’s Sixth District. Several months ago they added Rep. Michele Bachmann challenger Tarryl Clark to their “Red to Blue” list.