Former state Rep. Tom Emmer announced Wednesday in his hometown
of Delano that he will run for the 6th Congressional District seat
being vacated by Rep. Michele Bachmann.
According to the Pioneer Press, Emmer said, “I’m running for
Congress to change the culture in Washington and restore Americans’
trust in our government,”
Emmer is the the first candidate to jump into what is almost
certain to be a wide-open race for the GOP nomination since Bachmann
made her surprise withdrawal announcement last week.
At least 10 other past or present Republican officeholders and
party leaders have expressed interest in running, but Emmer likely
will be the best-known candidate in the field and probably got a leg
up on other hopefuls by coming out of the chute first.
So far, no Democratic hopefuls have emerged in the
Republican-leaning district. DFLer Jim Graves, who nearly unseated
Bachmann two years ago, dropped out of the race two days after
Bachmann announced she wasn’t seeing re-election, saying his only
reason for running was to defeat her.
Emmer, a lawyer who served three terms in the state House, gained
statewide exposure as the 2010 GOP nominee for governor, a race he
lost to DFLer Mark Dayton by less than half a percentage point after a
recount. But that contest showed his appeal in the 6th District. He
received 53 percent of the district’s votes in that election to 35
percent for Dayton and 12 percent for Tom Horner of the Independence