A former Minnesota state representative who made a name for himself in 2010 with his stridently anti-gay views announced on Wednesday that he intends to run for the seat currently held by retiring Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).
“It seems like every day we hear about another out-of-control Washington, D.C. power grab,” the failed former businessman told attendees at his campaign announcement event Thursday, according to Politico. “We are going to focus on a message of reforming Washington and improving the lives of everyday people.”
Former Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) sought the Minnesota governor’s office in 2010 and quickly attracted controversy for his ties to the “hard rock ministry” youth group You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, run by a tea party activist who once called killing LGBT people “moral.” He’s also adamantly in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage equality, and falsely claimed just last month that Minnesota’s marriage equality law would somehow “discriminate” against heterosexual couples.
Once that story broke on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” big box retailer Target actually apologized to its customers for supporting a business PAC that donated to Emmer, after a boycott began putting pressure on the company.
During his time in the state House, Emmer proposed bills that would have forbidden abortions throughout the state, required all federal laws obtain pre-clearance before being applied to Minnesotans, and based public school curriculum on Christian teachings. He also advocated cutting the minimum wage for people who work for tips and cutting social programs by 20 percent or more, just to get started.
Though he’s the first Republican to announce for Bachmann’s seat, Emmer is likely not the last. Reps. Matt Dean and Tim Sanders, along with state Sen. Michelle Fischbach, were also mentioned as possible contenders for the Republican nomination. Meanwhile, no Democrat has stepped forward to run for the seat since Jim Graves announced his withdrawal after Bachmann’s exit.
This video is from ABC News affiliate KSTP-TV, aired Wednesday, June 5, 2013.