MINNEAPOLIS — State Rep. Jim Newberger is the first Republican to formally announce plans to take on Minnesota’s popular U.S. senator, Amy Klobuchar.

Should Newberger win his party’s endorsement at next year’s state convention, the task of beating Klobuchar is a tall one. The Democratic senator beat her last two Republican opponents by double digits. And, she’s already raised nearly $6 million for her next campaign.

Newberger, a three-term House member from Becker, says he’s up for the challenge. Newberger says his goals include repealing the Affordable Care Act, reforming the country’s refugee program, simplifying the tax code and lowering the national debt.

The senator’s office issued a statement Monday which said the Republican Party will choose which candidate it will endorse and that Klobuchar is focused on getting things done for the people of Minnesota.