A Minnesota hotelier who lost a close race against Representative Michele Bachmann last year and was gearing up for a rematch in 2014 has said that he will not run after all â” just two days after Mrs. Bachmann, a fiery Tea Party Republican, said she would not seek re-election.
The hotelier, Jim Graves, a Democrat who founded the AmericInn hotel chain, told the MinnPost in an interview that, in essence, he had already won since Mrs. Bachmann dropped out of the race.
âWith Michele Bachmann now stepping down, Iâve been talking to my friends and family and frankly, the feeling is, âMission Accomplished,ââ he said.
âThereâs no way anyone could run and win who would be worse than Michele Bachmann,â Mr. Graves added. âSo we accomplished that task.â
Mrs. Bachmannâs exit, which comes as she contends with numerous federal and local investigations into possible violations of campaign finance law, certainly lengthened Mr. Gravesâs odds at winning the seat. Mrs. Bachmann, a onetime presidential candidate, would have been a focus of efforts by the national Democratic Party to unseat vulnerable Republicans. And Mrs. Bachmann barely won over Mr. Graves last year with a margin of barely 1 percentage point.
A Republican to replace Mrs. Bachmann has not yet stepped forward. A number of names have emerged as possible candidates, including a former gubernatorial candidate and several state legislators.
Mr. Graves said he was making his announcement so soon because he wanted to give Democrats ample time to decide and declare for the race.
Follow Jeremy W. Peters on Twitter at @ jwpetersNYT .