After failed presidential bid, Bachmann aims again at 6th Districtby Conrad Wilson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Cloud, Minn. — U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann announced today that she will seek re-election in the 6th District.
With one exception in 2008, the third-term congresswoman has won past elections by safe margins, but that could change as the state redraws congressional district lines.
Bachmann explained that she's running again for Congress because of her strong opposition to President Barack Obama's agenda.
Speaking to reporters in Washington, Bachmann said she wants to repeal the federal health care overhaul Congress passed in 2010 and to overturn the Dodd-Frank Act, legislation that adds more government oversight of financial institutions - both of which she vigorously opposed during her presidential campaign.
"But I'm also simultaneously very concerned about the threat of a nuclear Iran," Bachmann said. "I sit on the Intelligence Committee and I plan to continue my work on the intelligence community to help keep America safe when it comes to National Security."
Bachmann doesn't yet know what her district will look like. Unless Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-controlled Legislature can somehow agree on new political boundaries in the next month, a court will issue new district maps. But Bachmann said she is not worried about what the district will look like.
"I think people recognize that I'm an extremely hard worker and that I've represented their values," she said. "They know who I am and they know what I'll stand for."
Donald Raleigh of Blaine, Minn., said he supports Bachmann because of her focus on family values and government spending. Raleigh, the president of a web development company, said he also values her understanding of the relationship between business and government.
"Being a lightening rod, she does attract attention and that attention is not necessarily a bad thing," he said. "I would rather have somebody representing me that I know what she stands for than to have somebody that... is unpredictable. I like the predictability of Michele Bachmann. I know where she stands at all times."
Bachmann's embrace of tea party politics made her a prominent national figure even before her presidential run. But that also has made her a polarizing figure.
Jodi Brewer, of St. Cloud, said Bachmann's actions and words can be embarrassing.
"Everything I believe in she is so firmly against and vise versa," Brewer said.
State DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said Democrats are likely waiting for the new congressional district map before deciding to run against Bachmann. But he expects there will be no shortage of potential candidates.
Martin said there are few, if any, issues that Democrats agree with Bachmann on.
"I don't think there's a lot of common ground that we see with Michele Bachmann," he said. "Her positions are really of the mainstream. They don't represent the people of the 6th District and frankly she hasn't represented the people of the 6th District for the last year as she's run for president."
State GOP chairman Pat Shortridge welcomed Bachmann's decision to run, and said Bachmann had worked hard for Republican values in Congress.
"She continues to fight for limited, Constitutional government, personal freedom, traditional values, and a strong and secure America," Shortridge said in a statement. "We are thankful to have her on our side and confident in what she will continue to accomplish on our behalf in Washington."
Kathryn Pearson, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota, said she is not surprised Bachmann wants to return to Congress.
"Three terms of Congress has given her a great platform to attract a lot of national media attention, to lead the Tea Party Caucus and to get her message out," Pearson said. "And so it seems logical to me that she would try to return to Congress to try and do the same things."
Pearson said that if the 6th District remains relatively intact, Bachmann will have a good chance of winning re-election. But until the state's redistricting map is released in late February, she said, it will be hard to predict Bachmann's political future.
(MPR's Brett Neely contributed to this report from Washington.)