Hotel magnate Jim Graves, a Democrat, dropped his bid for Minnesota's 6th District on Friday — just a few days after his opponent, embattled Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced her retirement from Congress.pointing to Bachmann's departure from Congress.
"A year ago, we set out on a mission: To restore civility, functionality and honesty to Washington by removing Michele Bachmann from office," Graves wrote to supporters. "Her hateful rhetoric and dangerous policies fueled an extremist movement unlike anything we’d seen in a long time."
"After struggling with this decision – agonizing over it with my friends, supporters and family, I’ve decided to suspend my campaign indefinitely," he added.
His decision creates a wide-open race for the GOP district that includes exurbs north of Minneapolis. He had the support of national Democrats, who had previously touted the race as a top pick-up opportunity in 2014.
(Read Stuart Rothenberg's take: The Bachmann District: When a Retirement Changes Everything)
Graves' campaign manager Aaron Wells said the campaign had alerted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — which had been touting Graves as one of its top recruits this cycle — of Graves' decision to suspend his campaign.
"We did our best to keep everybody in the loop, but it was a personal decision," said Wells, who added that the DCCC was "disappointed."
The Minnesota Post first reported the news on Friday morning.