Kelly, who has been a longtime anti-gun candidate, said she has never been in touch with Bloomberg. Such contact is forbidden by election law. She said her message had been the same since she ramped up campaigning in early December.
"We didn't veer from that strategy," she said. "The voters put me in."
Still, some Democratic candidates in politically mixed, rural districts would probably prefer not to have Bloomberg's help.
Democrat Rep. Rick Nolan represents an economically challenged, mostly rural stretch of rural northern Minnesota, a popular hunting destination. He won re-election by more than 10 percentage points last year after NRA leaders campaigned heavily against him in the closing days of the campaign. Nolan, a lifelong hunter, has supported gun control and said he would back an assault-weapons ban in light of last year's mass shootings.
If Bloomberg's group were to draw even more attention to Nolan's position on guns, the effort could hurt him politically, said Steve Johnson, a senior Nolan aide.
"In districts where the gun issue cuts across people with deeply held views," Johnson said, "it becomes more difficult to talk about jobs and the economy when that debate competes for center stage."
Associated Press writers Tom Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa, and Nedra Pickler in Washington contributed to this report.
Sophia Tareen can be reached at http://twitter.com/sophiatareen .
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