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MN-06: Bachmann vs. Wetterling

Minnesota’s 6th District

With Rep. Mark Kennedy relinquishing his House seat to run for the Senate, four fellow Republicans in Minnesota’s 6th District (suburban St. Paul) competed for the GOP nomination to succeed him at a districtwide convention earlier this year. In what is increasingly rare in political competition these days, all the candidates honored pre-convention pledges to rally behind the person who won the endorsement of the convention.

What is perhaps more intriguing is that the candidate chosen by the convention was by far the most controversial conservative in the pack: State Sen. Michele Bachmann.

Over her six years in the senate, Bachmann has been a top target of the left. But the 51-year-old Bachmann has never lost a primary or general election and never trimmed her conservative sails. Proudly sporting a 100% rating from Michigan Citizens for Life, Bachmann is a spirited foe of taxes and spending and a vociferous advocate of local control of education. Indeed, the mother of five and foster parent of 23 cut her political eyeteeth organizing local opposition to the Clinton Administration’s “Goals 2000” program that would have vastly enhanced the U.S. Department of Education’s control over local public schools. Bachmann also opposes the Bush Administration’s “No Child Left Behind” program, and in a stand rare for Republicans today, the Minnesotan has dusted off a position that was once a clarion call for conservative congressional hopefuls: abolishing the Department of Education.

Her Democratic foe is a well-known area liberal: Patty Wetterling, a math teacher and founder of a foundation to help missing children, who raised more than $2 million and drew 46% of the vote against Kennedy in ’04. With support from the pro-abortion EMILY’s List and Moveon.org, Wetterling is back and considered in stronger shape with the 6th District now open.

Can Michele Bachmann stop her? “Sure,” says the conservative hopeful without hesitation, “I’ve won tough races before. And besides, [late far-left Democratic Sen.] Paul Wellstone won without trying to be something other than what he was. Maybe it’s time we had a Wellstone of the right.”

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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