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Posted at 11:33 a.m. on May 29, 2013
Hours after Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced her retirement from Congress, a host of potential GOP candidates emerged as possible successors for the 6th District.
Interviews with Minnesota and national Republicans yielded the following potential GOP candidates:
Bachmann’s retirement comes as good news for Republicans. She won re-election by a meager 1-point margin in 2012 and was a top target for Democrats going into this cycle. Bachmann’s 2012 opponent, hotel magnate Jim Graves, already announced he is running again this cycle.
The 6th District, which includes the Minneapolis exurbs, is a GOP stronghold and was redrawn to be more favorable to conservative candidates following redistricting last cycle. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district in 2012 with 56 percent.
Given the district’s composition, consultants mentioned several more Republicans who could run for the seat if they are interested:
In Minnesota, Republican candidates vie for the state Republican Party’s endorsement several months before the primary. Often, candidates will drop out of the primary if they do not have the party’s support — although the endorsement is nonbinding. Bachmann won the party endorsement in 2006, when then-Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minn., announced he was running for Senate.
To win the endorsement, operatives said candidates must start collecting activist support as soon as possible. So it’s likely candidates will announce their campaigns as soon as in the next 10 days.
Graves spokeswoman Julie Pearl said Bachmann’s retirement does not change the way Graves will run in the race, nor does the campaign feel it hampers his election chances.
“This serves to show that even Rep. Bachmann is hearing that Minnesota’s 6th is ready for a new, business-oriented approach,” Pearl said. “As recent polling indicates, our message is resonating with the people of the 6th District and she recognized that.”