MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ A federal judge has dismissed a challenge by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis to Minnesota's coronavirus restrictions.

Judge Donovan Frank rejected the former congressman's arguments that the rules unconstitutionally limit his freedom to campaign.

The judge ruled Wednesday that Democratic Gov. Tim Walz acted within his authority to respond to the public health crisis when he imposed restrictions on crowd sizes, travel and other measures meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The coronavirus has infected over 99,000 Minnesotans and killed more than 2,000. Lewis says he'll appeal and make the ruling a campaign issue.

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