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Kline wins in Minnesota, CNN projects

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) -- In the third matchup between Rep. Bill Luther and Republican John Kline, Kline defeated Luther in the race for Minnesota's 2nd District Tuesday, CNN projected.

Luther currently represents the state's 6th District but decided to run after redistricting put him and first-term Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy together in a new, more conservative 6th District. Luther chose to move into the 2nd District, a move he said he made for personal reasons.

House Republicans took aim at Luther, who narrowly beat Kline, a little-known GOP challenger with less than half as much money in 2000. Kline, a retired Marine Corps officer, took 46 percent in 1998 and 48 percent two years ago against Luther.

Republicans aggressively tried to overcome Luther's financial edge. President Bush raised about $120,000 for Kline in July and former President Bush headlined a September 19 event for him. Luther stumbled when Sam Garst, a Democrat and former Luther financier, publicly acknowledged he entered the race under the No New Taxes Party to help siphon away votes from Kline.

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