The expected rematch is on between Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann and DFL businessman Jim Graves, who came within a single percentage point of an upset in last November's race for her U.S. House seat.
The new Graves campaign issued a statement Thursday morning announcing that he will make another run at the four-term congresswoman, a lightning rod for Democrats who faces ethics and campaign finance allegations stemming from her 2012 presidential run.
Bachmann reacted to the news with a fundraising email to supporters announcing “He’s Back.”
Her initial statement -- and hard-hitting video -- presaged a tough campaign:
“Just a few moments ago, after receiving his marching orders from the Pelosi-Obama campaign machine, my Democratic opponent from last election announced he will again try to defeat me in 2014,” Bachmann told supporters.
Graves emphasized his business background as founder and former CEO of the AmericInn Hotel chain. “These days Congress is all about and scoring political points rather than actually solving problems,” he said in a statement. “I’m not interested in celebrity, only in solutions.”
Graves came within 4,296 votes of upending Bachmann in November, a contest that featured a presidential election at the top of the ticket. President Obama will not be on the ballot in 2014. But as seen from the video her campaign released immediately upon Graves' announcement, it is clear she is going to try to morph Graves into Obama, a target that's better suited to her conservative base.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."