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Rep. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, was asked last month if he planned to run for reelection.

"I think I don't have much choice," he told the Star Tribune. "A few of us have become poster children for doing what you believe is right and surviving."

But can Abeler, one of six rogue Republican House members who voted to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto of a $6.6 million tax-raising transportation bill, survive this fall's elections to serve a sixth term at the Capitol?

Abeler, an Anoka chiropractor, was among the first in Anoka County to file for election Tuesday, said Rachel Smith, Anoka County elections manager. He couldn't be reached Tuesday, but said last month that he is reminded almost daily of the vote that seems to have defined his career.

Rep. Kathy Tingelstad of Andover, another of the rogue Republicans, said she is retiring from the House, but will campaign for Abeler.

"It's all about freedom and conscience," Abeler said last month. "Are we free to have a conscience and vote the way we believe?"

PAUL LEVY