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The Zellers endorsement comes on top of nearly three dozen House GOP caucus members who've backed Bills thus far.

Zellers backs Bills in GOP Senate contest

House Speaker Kurt Zellers

House Speaker Kurt Zellers has endorsed his fellow House GOP caucus member Kurt Bills in his bid for the GOP’s nomination to run against U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar this fall.

The Zellers endorsement, which comes on top of more than three dozen House GOP caucus members who’ve backed Bills thus far, was announced just two days before Republicans will gather in St. Cloud to settle the endorsement battle. Bills is facing off against  relative GOP newcomer and war veteran Pete Hegseth and longtime Republican Dan Severson.

In announcing the endorsement — find a copy of the endorsing statement here — Zellers says Bill’s knowledge of the economy is a crucial reason to support him as he looks to challenge Klobuchar.

“This election is about the economy. We need to send someone to Washington that can not only ask the tough questions but answer them,” Zellers says. “I am proud to endorse Rep. Kurt Bills for U.S. Senate and encourage Republicans to unite behind his campaign to bring Econ 101 to Washington.”

Bills, a first-term House members and high school economics teacher, finds himself locked in a close, three-way battle for the nomination with Hegseth and Severson. Bills has gained the backing of Ron Paul, which many believe will give him an edge in the convention as voting takes places Friday before Paul himself is scheduled to speak.

Severson, meanwhile, is known for his fervent supporters, although fundraising has been a challenge. Still, many say it would be a mistake to count him out.

Hegseth has run perhaps the most high-profile campaign, rolling out a number of endorsements from Minnesota Republicans and national GOP figures such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol. His Ivy League background coupled with him veterans advocacy work in Washington after his deployment with the military gives him a national profile Bills and Severson have not matched.

Republicans will take up the nomination for U.S. Senate Friday, the first day of their state convention.

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