Bachmann hangs on to beat Graves in tight race

10:37 AM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
Jim Graves and Michele Bachmann
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MINNEAPOLIS - Republican and tea party favorite Michele Bachmann has beaten Democratic hotelier Jim Graves by a slim margin to win her fourth term in Congress.

Bachmann cements her hold on a district that became more Republican under new political boundaries this year.

Graves was seeking to persuade voters to choose a successful businessman rather than Bachmann and her controversial national profile. Bachmann was running to keep her political home after an unsuccessful bid for president last year.

The margin of Bachmann's victory was 51% to 49%, a difference of just just over 3,500 votes.

"I want to congratulate Rep. Bachmann on her victory last night. We wish her and her family the very best," Graves said in a written statement released Wednesday morning. "I also want to thank all of the folks who worked so hard on our campaign over the last seven months. Their support has meant the world to me and my family and we are incredibly humbled by their dedication."

"We remain hopeful that our country can come together and address the pressing issues before us," Graves continued.

Bachmann has not yet made an official statement but said in a Twitter post that it was a hard-fought campaign, and she's ready to get back to work for her district.

The race was hugely expensive as Bachmann fell back on a fundraising machine that tapped into her national following.

Graves, a millionaire hotel executive, made an issue during the campaign of the congresswoman's political aspirations.

Bachmann is well-known for her opposition to President Barack Obama's health care law and made repeal of it a signature of her campaign for the GOP nomination.

Once a leading contender to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney she abandoned her bid for the presidency after a dismal showing in the Iowa caucuses.

(Copyright 2012 by USA Today. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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