On Tuesday morning, the National Republican Congressional Campaign announced Miller had achieved "On the Radar" status in its Young Guns program. To make the list, Miller's campaign had to meet certain fundraising and organizing benchmarks.
"He has proven he can raise money and he can be competitive, which is why he advanced to this first step," said NRCC spokesman Tyler Houlton.
Miller, an Army veteran from Byron, won the Republican Party's endorsement in April. Another Republican, Blue Earth businessman Jim Hagedorn, is challenging Miller for the chance to take on Mankato DFLer Tim Walz in November. The two Republicans will square-off in the Aug. 12 primary.
Miller joins 27 other Republicans who are "On the Radar" and will be eligible for logistical support for his campaign. This is the first step in Miller being named a "Young Gun." He must meet other campaign benchmarks in order to move up to a "Contender" and then finally a "Young Gun." The Young Guns program was established in the 2007 to 2008 campaign cycle with the goal of assisting promising Republican candidates in winning open seats or defeating incumbent Democrats. It is similar to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Red to Blue Program.
Miller campaign adviser Brad Biers said from the very beginning the campaign has been focused on getting into the Young Guns program.
"It's something we've been targeting. That's why we wanted to make sure we had a good quarter to get into the program and we did," Biers said. "It's just the first step in getting on the radar nationally."
Miller raised more than $143,000 between April 1 and June 30, according to reports filed this month with the Federal Election Commission. That includes a $40,000 loan he made to his campaign. He has nearly $108,000 in the bank. Walz, who is seeking his 5th term, raised more than $231,000 in the second quarter and has $542,000 in cash-on-hand. Hagedorn raised $30,000 and has $12,000 in the bank.
Minnesota DFL Chairman Ken Martin recently included Walz on a list of "vulnerable" Democrats in a fundraising email.