Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told HUMAN EVENTS Tuesday that she will run in the district she represents, hours after a five-judge panel came down with a map for new U.S. House districts in the Minnesota, which placed her home in the neighboring district of liberal Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum.
In an exclusive interview, the former presidential candidate, who is by far one of her state’s most controversial politicians, reiterated her earlier promise to run in the Gopher State’s redrawn Sixth District, which includes most of the former Sixth District she has represented since 2006. Bachmann also explained that the fact that the new lines have placed her Stillwater home in McCollum’s 4th District did not affect her decision, because the Constitution does not require House Members to live in the district they represent.
“I made it crystal clear before the judges’ map came down that I was going to run in the district in which I grew up and the community that poured itself into my political career,” she told us.
In choosing to run in turf that she described as a “swing district,” Bachmann pulled no punches about the likelihood of a strong challenge in November. Two years ago, Tarryl Clarke (former Assistant State Democratic Leader) opposed Bachmann and raised more money than any Democratic U.S. House challenger in the country.
“I don’t know if she’ll run again or not,” said Bachmann. Clarke had earlier taken a Duluth residence in the nearby 8th District and signaled she plans to run against freshman Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack. Bachmann, however, is not so sure Clarke might change her plans and seek a rematch.
We asked Bachmann if spending so much time on her presidential campaign last year and up to the Iowa caucuses in January be a hindrance in her re-election bid.
“No, not at all,” she replied, “In seeking national office, I was a clear common-sense voice of our congressional district and, I feel, made a significant contribution to the national debate: I called for full-scale repeal of ObamaCare—you can’t issue waivers or executive order away something that is one-sixth of the economy—and for full-scale repeal of Dodd-Frank, and I am the chief sponsor of repeal legislation.” Bachmann also said that in spite of falling short in the race, she was proud of her campaign and pointed out that she was the first woman to seek the Republican nomination for the presidency who won the ‘straw vote’ in Ames, Iowa.
Bachmann added that she has no plans to endorse anyone for the Republican nomination, but also said “I haven’t made that decision but I might at some point do so.”