Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a former Republican presidential hopeful and an exponent of the anti-tax Tea Party movement, said she won’t run for re-election and may consider future opportunities in politics.
"I have decided next year I will not seek a fifth congressional term," Bachmann said Wednesday in a video posted on her website. "My future is full. It is limitless, and my passions for America will remain."
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Bachmann, 57, dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination last year after a sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. In her video, she said that eight years was long enough for one person to serve a congressional district and that her decision to step aside wasn’t related to inquiries into her presidential campaign and its staff.
"Be assured that my decision was not in any way influenced by any concerns about my being re-elected to Congress," Bachmann said. "I want you to be assured that there is no future option or opportunity, be it directly in the political arena or otherwise, that I won't be giving serious consideration if it can help save and protect our great nation for future generations."
Bachmann organized the Tea Party Caucus shortly before the 2010 midterm elections. Her rise to prominence in the Republican Party was curtailed in January 2011 at the Iowa caucuses, where she garnered about 5 percent of the vote and finished behind Mitt Romney, the eventual nominee; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
The probe into Bachmann’s run for the Republican nomination was opened by the Office of Congressional Ethics and focuses on alleged campaign-finance violations, the Daily Beast reported in March. A lawyer for Bachmann told The Washington Post that month that the congresswoman was cooperating with the OCE and was not presented with any allegations of personal wrongdoing.
Bachmann has led Tea Party activists pressing for a significant reduction in federal spending and strict adherence to the constitution. That push helped Republicans win control of the House in 2010.
Bachmann said she will finish her term.
"Over the next 18 months I will continue to work 100-hour weeks and I will continue to do everything I can to advance our conservative constitutional principles," she said.
Bachmann promises to "continue to work overtime for the next 18 months in Congress defending ... constitutional conservative values."
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