Bachmann's Minnesota Seat a Wide-open Contest

Monday, 17 Jun 2013 06:00 PM

By Greg Richter

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Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has said she won't seek a fifth term, but party officials in her home state are optimistic the GOP will hold the seat.

Her main Democratic opponent Jim Graves withdrew days after Bachmann's announcement. The businessman had made a bid only as an effort to oust Bachmann from office.

With both out of the race, The Washington Times is calling the contest for Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District one of the most wide-open in the country a mere 14 months before 2014's August primaries.

The district has strong Republican demographics, state Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey tells The Times. Mitt Romney carried it in 2012, as did John McCain in 2008 and George W. Bush in 2004.

Luke Yurczyk, the GOP head in the district, said he believes Bachmann would have defeated Graves easily despite an investigation involving election campaign spending and the fact that she defeated Graves with only 51 percent of the vote in the last election.

“She was certainly outspoken in her beliefs of (limiting the) size of government and really standing up for conservative principles. We’re going to miss her,” Yurczyk told The Times.

Former state Rep. Tom Emmer, currently a talk-show host, and Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah are seeking the GOP nomination. On the Democratic side, the only announced candidate is environmental activist Judy Adams.

More Republicans are expected to join in the race. The Times says a number of state lawmakers, veterans advocate Pete Hegseth and former state party chairman Pat Shortridge are considering a run.

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