You haven't seen the last of Michele Bachmann.
The Minnesota congresswoman confirmed in an interview Tuesday that she will run for re-election to her House district following her failed presidential bid.
"I'm looking forward to coming back and bringing a strong, powerful voice to Washington, D.C.," Bachmann told the Associated Press. The comments were the first public confirmation of Bachmann's plans since she ended her presidential campaign Jan. 4 following a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses.
Last June, Bachmann announced plans to "suspend" her re-election campaign for a fourth term in Minnesota's 6th District as she pursued the presidency. Her uncertain status prompted Republican officials--including the state party--to keep would-be Republican contenders out of the race.
But potential challenger and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer told Yahoo News Wednesday that no one forced candidates to stay on the sidelines. Emmer said he and other would-be candidates are nothing but pleased by Bachmann's decision.
"I can speak for a lot of people that I know--we were all hopeful she was going to run again," Emmer said. "She's beloved in her district."
Emmer said he sent Bachmann a note Wednesday morning expressing his support.
"The overwhelming feeling within her district is people wanted her to run again," he said.
As a former presidential candidate who was already known for her fundraising prowess, Bachmann will be a formidable candidate this year even though she faces new constituents following 2010 census-mandated redistricting.
The filing deadline for the election is not until June and it remains to be seen if a major Democratic candidate will enter the race. Emmer noted that Democrats spent a significant amount unsuccessfully challenging Bachmann in 2010, before she entered the presidential arena.
Bachmann's announcement also rules out a potential challenge to Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar--a possibility which observers have continued to float despite Bachmann's lack of public interest in a Senate run.
Bachmann is not the first sitting lawmaker to keep her options open as she pursued the presidency.
In the last presidential election, two sitting members of Congress--Reps. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)--each competed for the presidency, failed, then ran successfully for House re-election. This time, Paul has stated he will not be running for House re-election.
Update 12:45 p.m. ET: Story updated to include Tom Emmer's comments.
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