Just days after Republican Michele Bachmann said she would not run for a 5th term in Congress, her declared DFL opponent Jim Graves is ending his 2014 campaign.
Graves sent this letter to his supporters Friday morning:
This is the most difficult message I’ve ever had to write.
A year ago, we set out on a mission: To restore civility, functionality and honesty to Washington by removing Michele Bachmann from office. Her hateful rhetoric and dangerous policies fueled an extremist movement unlike anything we’d seen in a long time. The tone it created was a poison pill that crippled Congress, preventing government from performing its most basic duties, like passing a budget.
Over this past year, I’ve never been more inspired. Thousands and thousands and thousands of you stepped up to the plate and sacrificed – your time, your money, your energy – to make our country a better place. Your passion will be etched into my memory forever.
This week, we learned that we succeeded. We set out to defeat Rep. Bachmann, and that has been accomplished. You should feel incredibly proud. After all, it was the grassroots movement you built that kept the pressure on and forced Rep. Bachmann from her seat in Congress.
I’ll never be able to thank you enough for being part of this team. But after struggling with this decision – agonizing over it with my friends, supporters and family, I’ve decided to suspend my campaign indefinitely.
As I said, I’ve never faced a more difficult decision. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support and dedication.
Your friendship means the world to my family and me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Bachmann announced early
Tuesday Wednesday that she would not run for a 5th term. Last November Graves, a political newcomer, nearly defeated Bachmann. He lost by less than 2 percentage points.
Many political analysts say with Bachmann out of the race, Republicans might have an easier time retaining the seat. Several high profile Republicans are considering running next year in the 6th.
It was a dramatic reversal for Graves who said earlier this week that he would stay in the race. In a statement today, DFL Party Chair Ken Martin says he’s confident that they’ll find a strong candidate to run in the district.
“It’s a small setback but Democrats both nationally and in this state are very optimistic about our chances in an open congressional seat heading into 2014.”