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MINNEAPOLIS -- A large field of Republican candidates will likely test the waters in the 6th Congressional District now that incumbent Michelle Bachmann has exited the 2014 race.

Former State Rep Tom Emmer is the most well-known of those considering a run. He came very close to winning the governor's race in 2010, losing by less than a percentage point to Democrat Mark Dayton.

And then there's Phil Krinkie, the former state representative who heads the Minnesota Taxpayers League. He lost to Bachmann ina three-wayGOP endorsement battle for the same 6th District seat in 2006.

Former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, who bowed out of politics last year after a scandal stemming from an extramarital affair with a senate staffer, is also said to beweighing a run after receiving calls from supporters.

State Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, who served two terms as Secretary of State, is also getting some buzz. She won statewide elections in 1998 and 2002.

Rounding out the fieldof those either considering a run in the 6th District, or being touted in social media, are the following:

  • State Rep Matt Dean of Dellwood, the former House Majority Leader.
  • Pete Hegseth, the Iraqi war veteran who ran for US Senate last year.
  • Anoka County Commissioner Ronda Sivarajah, who ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2010
  • State Senator Michele Benson of Ham Lake,who is a senate minority leader
  • State Representative Peggy Scott of Andover
  • State Representative Tim Sanders of Blaine

Republican State Chairman Keith Downey told KARE there will be no shortage of strong candidates willing to replace Bachmann on the 2014 ballot.

"We have a deep bench, a lot of talent, a lot of energy, and the 6th is traditionally a very Republican district, so I like our chances," Downey said.

The likely Democratic nominee will be Jim Graves, the hotel executive and St. Cloud native who nearly unseated Bachmann in 2012.

Graves said he's not too familiar with the Republicans who may line up to replace Bachmann on the ballot. He did say, however, that voters in the 6th District are ready for a break from sharply partisan politics.

"Both parties have moved so far to the fringe, and we need people in the middle that understand what it takes,the art of the deal," Graves told KARE.

"Congress needs people whounderstand that it takes for people to come together and give and take to get things done."

The official filing period for candidates opens May 20 of 2014, and closes June 3 of 2014

Between now and then many others names will emerge in the race,but none will be as recognizable as Michele Bachmann.

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