ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Republicans have endorsed a state representative and high school economics teacher as their candidate to challenge U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar in November.

Kurt Bills won the support of 64 percent of delegates on the second ballot at the Republican State Convention at the River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. His chief opponents were former state representative Dan Severson and military veteran and activist Pete Hegseth. Both Severson and Hegseth said they wouldn't run in the August primary without the party endorsement.

Bills jumped to a wide lead on the first ballot and clinched the endorsement on the second. The Rosemount resident is stressing his experience teaching high school economics as ideal for connecting with voters on the economy.

Klobuchar, the Democratic incumbent, is running for a second term.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)