After coming within a few thousand votes of kicking Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann out of the House, Democrat Jim Graves is ready to try again.
Graves, Bachmann’s opponent in the 2012 election, on Thursday said he would challenge Bachmann for her seat again. “These days Congress is all about and scoring political points rather than actually solving problems and Minnesota’s 6th District—my home—is losing out because of that more than anywhere,” Graves said in a statement. “I’m not interested in celebrity, only in solutions.”
Bachmann’s team quickly responded, releasing a fundraising email and a video ad that claimed Graves was running again “after receiving his marching orders from the Pelosi-Obama campaign machine.”
Graves lost to Bachmann in 2012 by less than 4,300 votes despite being outspent by Bachmann 12-to-1, but she may not have that financial advantage this time around, as Democrats appear prepared to back Graves more significantly after his strong performance last year.
The news also comes as Bachmann deals with an ethics investigation into her 2012 presidential campaign. Earlier this week she darted away from reporters pressing her on the probe, before eventually blaming “politically motivated” Democrats for the investigation. Bachmann has been accused of failing to pay several Iowa campaign staff members by a former staffer.
“There’s political motivations that are involved because I’ve been named as the number one target for defeat by the Democrat Party, by Nancy Pelosi and also by SuperPACs so, you know no one can know anyone’s thoughts or intents, but clearly it looks like it’s politically motivated,” she said.
The Minnesotan congresswoman has also faced scrutiny for the wildly inaccurate Obama-bashing speech she gave at CPAC, inspiring scathing reports from fact checkers.