Tom Emmer’s victory in the Sixth Congressional District Republican primary Tuesday brings him a step closer to becoming the successor to retiring U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The former state representative and conservative radio host handily defeated Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah, capturing more than 70 percent of the vote.

Sivarajah stuck with her campaign even after Emmer secured the party nomination and Bachmann’s backing.

Emmer will be the favorite against Democrat Joe Perske and Independence Party candidate John Denney in November to represent the Sixth District, which includes the suburbs and exurbs north of the Twin Cities all the way to St. Cloud.

For Emmer, the race offers an opportunity to resume an ascending political career that stalled after his loss to Democrat Mark Dayton in the 2010 governor’s race.