ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The energy behind Ron Paul’s campaign is giving a boost to an unlikely Republican hoping to challenge Sen. Amy Klobuchar in November.

Kurt Bills is a rookie state representative from Rosemount and a high school economics teacher. His entry has taken some of the spotlight from Pete Hegseth, an Army veteran from Stillwater with ties to national Republicans.

Paul has endorsed Bills, and many of Paul’s motivated supporters have been elected as delegates and alternates to the state convention. That’s where a candidate will be endorsed.

Bills has embraced some of Paul’s issues. He wants to cut spending deeply, has introduced legislation to make gold and silver coins legal tender in Minnesota, and wants the U.S. out of Afghanistan swiftly.

Former state Rep. Dan Severson is also in the race.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)