Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a former presidential candidate and favorite of Tea Party Republicans, announced today she will not run for another term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“My decision was not influenced by any concerns about my being reelected,” Bachmann said in a video posted on her website (see below). She narrowly won a fourth term in 2012 over Democrat Jim Graves, a hotel chain founder who is running again in 2014.
“This decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign,” Bachmann added. In January, one of Bachmann’s former aides, Peter Waldron, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, claiming the candidate made improper payments to an Iowa state senator who was the state chairman of her 2012 presidential run. Waldron also accused Bachmann of other FEC violations.
Prior to the video announcement, Bachmann hadn’t given any clue she was considering leaving Congress. Her fundraising operation was churning out its usual pitches, and she even had an ad running on Twin Cities television talking about her role in opposing President Barack Obama’s health law.
Andy Aplikowski, who has long been active in the district’s Republican Party chapter, said he expected Bachmann to run again but can understand why she chose not to.
“It’s a grueling thing to be in Congress,” he said. “It’s a grueling thing to be Michele Bachmann in Congress. Every move you make is criticized and put under a microscope.”
Bachmann did not give any reason for her decision and said she would not be available to answer questions in the wake of the announcement.
An outspoken opponent of the Obama administration, Bachmann promised her supporters, “I will continue to work overtime for the next 18 months in Congress defending the same constitutional conservative values we have worked so hard on together.”
Speaking on what’s next for her career, Bachmann said, “There is no future option or opportunity, be it directly in the political arena or otherwise, that I won’t be giving serious consideration if it can help save and protect our great nation.”