GOP's Emmer jumps into Minn.'s 6th District race

Tom Emmer
Republican Tom Emmer on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in Delano, Minn., said that he is "thrilled" to announce his entry to the race for the 6th District congressional seat.
MPR Photo/Rupa Shenoy

Former gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer on Wednesday announced his candidacy for the 6th District congressional seat.

"I didn't know if this day would ever arrive where I'd say that's the right thing that we should be doing and we can contribute this way," Emmer said in Delano, Minn. Republican community leaders initially suggested he was right for the job, he said.

"When they started, it got me to thinking and then I started making some calls," Emmer said.

Emmer told the crowd that it is important to keep the seat in Republican hands. He said he'd abide by the party endorsement.

"The people that are the most important, if there is such a thing to beginning this process, are those grassroots people," Emmer said. "It starts there and then they're the ones of do the work of knocking on doors, pounding in signs and helping you get over the hurdle of the general election."

Emmer ran for governor in 2010 but lost the race in a recount to DFLer Mark Dayton. He said his campaign for departing 6th District Rep. Michele Bachmann's seat will focus on keeping taxes down and government small.

Bachmann said late last month she wouldn't be running for re-election. State Sen. John Pederson, R-St. Cloud, plans to run for Bachmann's seat. DFL candidate Jim Graves has dropped out of the race.

A statement from state DFL chairman Ken Martin read that Emmer is a voice for the "hard-core right-wing."

Emmer said he plans to stop appearing on a radio show he co-hosts.

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