After months of hinting that his mission to oust Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) wasn't over, Jim Graves, a Democratic hotel executive who came within 4,300 votes of defeating the conservative firebrand in 2012, announced Thursday that he was running again in 2014.
“These days Congress is all about scoring political points rather than actually solving problems and Minnesota’s 6th District -- my home -- is losing out because of that more than anywhere,” Graves said in a release, according to the St. Cloud Times. “I’m not interested in celebrity, only in solutions.”
Bachmann was quick with a response to the news, blasting out a fundraising email that claimed Graves had been convinced to run “after receiving his marching orders from the Pelosi-Obama campaign machine.” Her campaign later released a video similarly attacking the Democrat for his alleged ties to President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Graves and Bachmann fought for votes in one of the most expensive congressional races of the 2012 cycle. While Bachmann outspent Graves by a 12-to-1 margin, she nearly lost the race.
Graves' campaign manager Aaron Wells told the Times that the election dynamics would work in Graves' favor this time around, as "[t]he 2012 cycle was truncated by the once-a-decade redistricting, which forced candidates to wait until spring 2012 to determine where district boundaries would fall."
National Democrats have also kept a close eye on the possibility of Graves running again, saying that they'd offer him support if he chose to enter the race.
Bachmann's new challenge comes as she faces ethics investigations related to her unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign. Earlier this week she claimed the probes were related to political opposition from Democrats.
"There's political motivations that are involved because I've been named as the number one target [for] defeat by the Democrat Party, by Nancy Pelosi and also by SuperPACs so, you know no one can know anyone's thoughts or intents, but clearly it looks like it's politically motivated," she said, according to City Pages.