The Democrat who almost won Michele Bachmann’s Congressional seat in the last election is now dropping out of the race. “Mission accomplished,” Jim Graves said, after hearing that Bachmann will not run again for re-election.
“Basically, after all that’s gone on, and with Michele Bachmann now stepping down, I’ve been talking to my friends and family and frankly, the feeling is, ‘Mission Accomplished,’” Graves told MinnPost in an interview published Friday. “She wasn’t representing the people of the 6th District appropriately, and now she won’t be representing them. There’s no way anyone could run and win who would be worse than Michele Bachmann. So we accomplished that task.”
According to Graves, he plans to leave public life for the next few months and return to his role as a businessman and hotelier. He said he hopes another qualified candidate will pick up where he left off and give Democrats a shot at taking the seat.
Graves ran a strong campaign in 2012, coming within 4,300 votes of ousting Bachmann despite being outspent by a 12-to-1 margin. National Democrats largely ignored the race until the final weeks, however, primarily because Bachmann’s fundraising advantage was initially believed to give her an uncontested path to reelection. Their ears perked up after Graves’ near-miss, and earlier this year, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee expressed excitement at getting involved in a Bachmann-Graves rematch.
Graves has said he’s satisfied knowing that Bachmann is no longer plotting a return to Congress. But with her name recognition gone from the race, he told MinnPost that he thinks national Democrats and the media will soon lose interest. It appears that Graves already has.