Onetime Bachmann opponent declares mission ‘accomplished’ as he drops out
Jim Graves, the independent candidate who nearly unseated Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), indefinitely suspended his campaign on Friday for Minnesota’s 6th congressional seat, according to MinnPost.
“After meeting with my closest family members, friends and supporters, we he have decided to suspend Jim Graves for Congress indefinitely,” Graves said in a statement published by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “This was never about Jim Graves; this was about challenging the ineffective leadership and extremist ideology of Michele Bachmann on behalf of those she represents. As of Wednesday, that goal was accomplished, and our supporters should be incredibly proud of that accomplishment.”
Bachmann announced in a YouTube video published overnight on Wednesday that “after a great deal of thought and deliberation,” she would no longer be seeking re-election to Congress in 2014. “I have every confidence that if I ran, I would again defeat the individual who I defeated last year, who recently announced he is once again running. … And rest assured, this decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff. It was clearly understood that compliance with all rules and regulations was an absolute necessity for my presidential campaign.”
“I don’t know everything that went into her decision,” Graves said in an interview with MinnPost, “Obviously something happened to cause her to believe that she shouldn’t run again. We’re very happy she dropped out. The country can do better.”
He also told MinnPost he didn’t see any future in politics. “I’m not a politician; I’m a business guy,” he told the website. “Now there are zero things on my agenda that I feel a need to do in public life.”
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Bachmann secured a victory over Graves in 2012 with just 4,296 votes, nearly 6 percentage points less than Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney secured in the district.
Graves is responsible for founding the AmericInn hotel chain in 1979 and sold the chain for an undisclosed amount in 1993. The Press estimates his net worth to be somewhere between $22 million and $111 million, based upon financial disclosure forms he filled out for the 2012 election.
[Jim Graves speaks at St. Cloud State University on Nov. 4, 2012 by Flickr user ericadamaustin]