2012 will probably be remembered by the Bachmann clan as Michele’s “annus horribilis.” Her husband was exposed as a first-class anti-gay bigot, her finances and businesses were opened to the public (who still want a few answers about the payments for foster kids who were her husband’s patients), her presidential campaign flamed out quickly, she is wielding even less influence on her party than Sarah Palin and she had her Congressional District redistricted out from under her. It just can’t get much worse.
Bachmann represented the Minnesota 6th District. Her district is on the map, right. The state had some population shifts between the 2000 and 2010 census, so her district and the 4th District had their lines redrawn. The downward hook on the eastern edge of the 6th District and some of the area around the corner and to the north were absorbed into the 4th District. Bachmann’s home is in Stillwater, which is in the hook, so she was literally moved out of the district she currently represents.
The 4th District is represented by Democrat Betty McCollum and includes the city of St. Paul and its suburbs. The 6th District stretched out to the west and was very conservative. Rather than stay with her town and compete for the 4th District seat, Bachmann has decided to run in the 6th. It is not necessary, according to the Constitution, for a Congressperson to reside in his or her district, only that he or she reside in the state.
She already has three Democratic challengers.
Anne Nolan is an attorney and has been dubbed an “Occupy Wall Street Activist.” On the other hand, she is an “anti-choice candidate” – the term being used by Minnesota Democrats apparently. She is running for the Democratic Farmer Laborer endorsement. The DFL is listed in Minnesota news reports as a separate party, though they usually back the same candidate at the regular Democratic Party. Or, maybe it’s the other way around.
Brian McGoldrick, who lives in the district, fits all the platform requirements for a Democratic candidate – marriage equality, reproductive freedom and he says he will self-finance his campaign. Michael Graves is a resident of Minneapolis, which is in the 5th District, but he was born in the 6th. He is the CEO of a hotel company and a trustee of a local college in Minneapolis. Both men are courting the DFL endorsement.
The DFL will hold a convention in April to determine which candidate they will endorse, and that will probably determine who will run against Bachmann in November.
Though Bachmann’s constituents forgave her all her national activities in the 2010 election, she is carrying far more baggage this time, compliments of the Republican primary race, and the fact that she no longer lives in the district may weigh against her.
We can only hope.