GOP’s Loon gets last-minute assist from DFL donors

Republican state Rep. Jenifer Loon is getting eleventh-hour help from a handful of well-known DFL donors.

Next Tuesday, she'll be facing-off against Sheila Kihne in the primary. Kihne is challenging Loon partly because Loon voted to legalize same-sex marriage.

Loon's contributors include members of the Pohlad family, owners of  the Minnesota Twins and other business interests.

Joe, Rebecca, Thomas and Lindsay Pohlad each gave Loon $1,000 in the last week -- the maximum amount a House candidate can take from a donor.

By and large, the Pohlads have given to DFL candidates in the past, including Gov. Mark Dayton and former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Loon also received $1,000 each from philanthropist Martha Head and General Mills CEO Kendall Powell late last week. Both have traditionally given to business groups and conservative candidates.

Loon is getting help from outside groups, too, including Freedom Minnesota PAC. It is a political fund that was set up exclusively to help Loon win the primary, and has already spent nearly $6,000 on fliers in her support. 

In the last week, donors have given the group more than $85,000, most of that money coming from New York-based hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb and Massachusetts-based investor Seth Klarman.

What's the connection to Loon?

It appears it is her vote in favor of same-sex marriage. Both Loeb and Klarman are well-known advocates of allowing gay people to marry.

Meanwhile, Kihne has received $3,000 in additional donations in the last week.

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