If raising money is any indication, the race for the legislative House seat in District 27A could be a close one.
Incumbent state Rep. Rich Murray, R-Albert Lea, has raised slightly more than Democrat challenger Shannon Savick of Wells this year.
"The biggest roadblock was I started from scratch, nobody knew me. Being the new kid on the block was tough," says Savick.
"But, I've been doing a lot of door-knocking. People like my message and maybe see me as a viable candidate and alternative," she adds.
A report from the state's Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board shows Murray took in contributions totaling $9,363 from Jan. 1 through July 30.
During the same period, Savick received $8,545 in donations.
Independent candidate William J. Wagner of Ellendale has collected $300.
Murray started 2012 with $7,076 in his war chest, while Savick had about $1,700.
The amount both campaigns have in expenditures so far is also very close.
Savick, the former mayor of Wells, has spent $3,312 in her attempt to defeat Murray, who is seeking his second two-year term.
Murray's campaign expenses through July total about $2,803.
The Albert Lea businessman has about twice as much cash on hand with $13,636. According to the report, Savick has $6,932.
A large portion of Savick's money has come from political groups.
She has received $1,500 from the Freeborn County DFL and $500 each from the Faribault County DFL, Friends of DFL Women in St. Paul and the womenwinning state PAC (Political Action Committee) in St. Paul.
Also listed on the campaign finance report is an unitemized lobbyist cash contribution of $100.
Murray's party affiliated contributions include $500 from District 25 state Sen. Raymond Cox, R-Northfield, and $200 from the Tom Emmer for governor committee of Minnetonka.
In the senate race, incumbent Democrat Dan Sparks of Austin has raised $10,575, while Republican Linden Anderson of Waltham has collected $5,604 in contribution.
Sparks has outspent Anderson so far, $3,506 to $2,344.
District 27A includes the Faribault County cities of Wells, Kiester and Walters, and the townships of Clark, Dunbar, Foster and Kiester.
In addition, the district covers all of Freeborn County and some townships in Mower and Dodge counties.
In District 23, incumbents hold a big fund-raising edge.
Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, has taken in $19,250 compared to Democrat Paul Marquardt of Eagle Lake with $4,450.
Rosen has expenditures totaling $5,984 to Marquardt's $1,983. She has cash on hand of $34,454 to her opponent's $2,467.
In the District 23A House race, Republican Bob Gunther of Fairmont has collected $11,355 and spent $2,952. He has $19,730 cash on hand.
Democrat challenger Kevin Labenz's contributions totaled $7,969 and his expenses were $2,883. The Welcome resident had $5,085 cash on hand.
The district covers a majority of Faribault and Blue Earth counties, portions of Watonwan, Jackson and Le Sueur counties and all of Martin County.