Minnesota: Democrats Line up to Challenge Bachmann

Posted May 11, 2009 at 5:59pm

Democrats are on track for a primary to determine who will challenge Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) in 2010.

The 2008 Democratic nominee, Elwyn Tinklenberg, and a former statewide candidate both intend to run against the controversial Republican, plus several other Democrats are thinking about it. Tinklenberg said he plans to run again next year after losing to Bachmann, 43 percent to 46 percent, in 2008.

“We are in the process of putting it all back in place and getting going and getting organized again,— Tinklenberg said in a phone interview.

In addition to Tinklenberg, physician Maureen Reed told the St. Cloud Times that she plans to run for the Democratic nomination. Reed ran was the Independence Party candidate for lieutenant governor in 2006.

Sources at the Minnesota Legislature said many more Democrats are thinking of challenging Bachmann, including Democratic state Reps. Larry Hosch and Julie Bunn and Sen. Tarryl Clark.

But for Reed and many of the other possible candidates, it’s unlikely they will start with Tinklenberg’s fundraising advantage this year. He reported having $309,000 in his campaign account at the end of March.

Money poured into Tinklenberg’s coffers after Bachmann’s controversial comments about some of her House colleagues on national television in the closing weeks of the campaign — so much money that he said there was not enough available TV airtime to use all of the funds.

“I think we could have done it if that kind of support had come three weeks earlier or four weeks earlier,— Tinklenberg said. “It was the last-minute nature of it that made it difficult.—

Tinklenberg’s post-general fundraising report showed he ended his 2008 bid with $484,000 in the bank. He transferred $125,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee earlier this year.