The rematch between Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann and DFL businessman Jim Graves begins with a decided financial advantage for Team GOP.
Whatever else the pundits say about Bachmann, she is a proven fundraiser, having outspent Graves last year by more than a 4-to-1 ratio. She also closed out 2012 with more than $2 million in cash, according to her most recent FEC reports.
That was after transferring some $3 million to her defunct presidential campaign.
Her first quarter 2013 fundraising results are due Monday.
Graves starts with about $30,000 left over from his last campaign. But the pro-business Democrat, who came within a single percentage point of an upset victory in last year’s U.S. House race, is a self-made millionaire. He started out with a used typewriter and a makeshift basement office to found and run a successful hotel management and development company.
Bachmann raised the specter of Graves’ personal wealth in her initial fundraising pitches to supporters, which started within minutes of his announcement on Thursday. Graves put more than $500,000 of his own money into the 2012 race, though about half of it was paid back by the campaign.
Graves new campaign manager Aaron Wells said Graves has reached no decision about self-funding for 2014. But he vowed that the campaign will be “focused on democratic, grassroots fundraising.”
Given the national attention focused on Bachmann, neither candidate is expected to have much trouble raising a robust war chest.

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