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Pawlenty weathers attacks as GOP groups await DFL nominee

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Republican political groups are waiting to see which Democrat emerges from an Aug. 14 in the race for governor. Democratic organizations are already attacking GOP candidate and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Campaign finance reports released Tuesday show Alliance for a Better Minnesota has spent $2 million on ads attacking the former two-term governor. The group is a liberal political outfit that spends millions of dollars every election cycle backing Democrats.

Pawlenty is running against 2014 nominee and the party-endorsed candidate, Jeff Johnson, for the GOP nomination. He holds a fivefold cash advantage over Johnson heading into the primary.

Outside GOP groups haven’t spent much money yet as Democrats wrap up an unpredictable, three-way primary. U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, state Rep. Erin Murphy and Attorney General Lori Swanson are running.

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