Former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson has endorsed Jim Graves, the Democrat challenging U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in the Sixth Congressional District.

The former governor and Graves will take the stage in St. Cloud this evening for the official endorsement, but the Graves campaign acknowledged that Carlson was throwing his support behind yet another Democrat.

"I think it is imperative that this district decides if it wants a show horse or a work horse," Carlson said, according to a transcript provided by the Graves campaign. "When I look at Jim Graves, I see a man who to a large extent epitomizes the American Dream.  [Congress] needs more entrepreneurs.  [Jim] has the kind of background that Congress frankly needs.  We have a lot people [in congress] who talk about growing jobs, but very few who ever did.  Jim Graves knows how to do it."  

The Graves campaign welcomed the Republican endorsement.

"Jim is obviously incredibly honored and humbled by the support of the governor, who is one of the most widely respected Republican figures in Minnesota state politics," said campaign manager Adam Graves. "He’s someone who cares deeply about middle class families and the economy and the federal deficit. His endorsement...underscores the degree of support we’ve gotten from other Reaganite Republicans and independents throughout the district who are excited by the op to be represented by a successful businessman who knows what it takes to balance a budget and to create jobs."

Carlson, who served as Minnesota's governor from 1991 to 1999, has been a vocal critic of Bachmann.

An unimpressed Pat Shortridge, chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party, issued a preemptive press release before the official endorsement.

“Arne Carlson is a liberal Independent who endorsed Barack Obama, John Kerry, Tom Horner, Rebecca Otto and Tim Walz, as well as an agenda of higher taxes, more spending and bigger government," Shortridge said in a statement. "Trotting out Arne Carlson every two years to endorse Democrats is on par with the DFL calling for higher taxes and scaring seniors – nothing newsworthy about it."




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