ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Two more Democrats moved Thursday to challenge U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, adding to a suddenly crowded field interested in trying to unseat the state’s highest-profile Republican.

Stillwater-area businessman Brian McGoldrick and Minneapolis hotelier Jim Graves joined previously announced candidate Anne Nolan as hopefuls in the race. McGoldrick and Nolan, a non-practicing attorney and workplace consultant from St. Cloud, both plan to seek the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s endorsement at the April 14 district convention in Blaine.

McGoldrick said he would fold his bid if he isn’t endorsed. Nolan said she would also drop out if not endorsed, provided the endorsement is made at the district convention and not deferred until later. Graves filed exploratory papers and said in a statement he hadn’t made a final decision about running.

McGoldrick, who lives in Washington County’s May Township, launched a series of photography-related businesses starting in his early 20s and sold them off in the 1990s. He’s since worked in real estate development and also owns a marina and restaurant on White Bear Lake. He’s never run for office or been active in politics, and said he’s likely to use at least part of his own finances for his campaign.

“I can see that the most important issue for our residents right now is jobs,” McGoldrick said. He accused Bachmann of doing nothing to bring jobs to the district and also swiped at her Republican presidential bid: “I know Minnesota’s 6th District isn’t located somewhere down in Iowa.”

A spokesman for Bachmann did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Nolan, who joined the race two weeks ago, said an economic message about jobs and home foreclosures would be central to her campaign as well.

“We’ve got so many people underwater in their mortgages in this district,” said Nolan, who has lost two previous state House races. “The real estate crash has hit this district terribly. It’s a great opportunity to talk about economic issues.”

Graves is chief executive of Graves Global Hospitality, a company with holdings that include the Graves 601 Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Graves lives outside the district in south Minneapolis. He isn’t required to live in the district — Bachmann, in fact, now lives outside the 6th thanks to redistricting — but a statement announcing his campaign took pains to stress his St. Cloud roots.

Graves was born and raised there, and serves as a trustee at St. Benedict’s College in St. Joseph. His statement said he had “created hundreds of jobs” beginning with his roots as an entrepreneur in St. Cloud.

“He’s got St. Cloud in his DNA,” Donald McFarland, a spokesman, said.

Whoever ends up as the Democratic candidate faces a tough challenge with Bachmann. First elected to Congress in 2006, she’s a proven fundraiser and polarizing figure who, while incurring the wrath of Democrats and liberals, has cultivated strong devotion from many Republicans and conservatives.

The 6th District, which stretches from suburbs north of the Twin Cities and reaches northwest to St. Cloud, was already the state’s most reliably Republican district before the recent congressional redistricting removed several political swing areas east of St. Paul and added several portions of strongly Republican Carver County.

The district’s voters are seen above all as socially conservative. It could prove a challenge for McGoldrick, who supports abortion rights and said he thinks gay marriage should be legal. Nolan, by contrast, opposes legalized abortion but said she would first support steps to reduce it. She stopped short of endorsing gay marriage but said her views on the issue are “evolving, like President Obama.” Nolan said she does oppose the amendment on Minnesota’s November ballot to outlaw gay marriage in the state constitution.

While McGoldrick’s more liberal views could be a challenge in the general election, Nolan’s more conservative social stances could make it harder to land the DFL endorsement. She admitted to difficulty in raising funds from national political groups that traditionally support Democratic female candidates because of her views on abortion, but said she hopes to offset that by leaning on long-standing personal ties to organized labor groups.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (20)
  1. Sam says:

    A Democrat business man?

    Isn’t that an oxymoron?

    1. the old nurse says:

      One can make money and not be consumed by it. Consider Warren Buffet is a Democrat, Bob Short was a Democrat. Franken was self employed, now a Democrat. Bill Gates also. The American Gazette carried a story that states 75% of the top 20 wealthiest families were Democrats. The purpose behind the story was to tell off Democrats who call rich people evil

  2. KEVIN says:


  3. Kevin says:

    I think she is Bachmann – licious!!!!!

  4. G Dog says:

    I would vote for Jeffery Dahmer before Michelle Bachmann, even though they are both self serving consumers of the underclass.

    1. RU Kidding says:

      Of course you would….because she’s so radical.

      My but liberals are full of hatred, spite and bile.

  5. Jed says:

    I hope the dems bleed their warchest dry again trying to defeat the undefeatable.

  6. Jim says:

    “Ok article said it included portions of Carver County, 6th district does not include any part of Carver county, boundaries end at Wright county

  7. Jim says:

    Im not sure what subsidies she got for her farm (i also understand she actually has no direct involvement in it) but as far as the subsidies, she may not have had a choice. My family farms in North Dakota, and when the feds came in with subsidies you were forced to take them

    1. Geoff says:

      Really ?
      We have land that was Land Bank for years and opted out of taking money.
      It’s currently in another type of CPR or similar program and again not a dime. Talked about this over Christmas actually as with the Bachmann’s in the news for same it seemed like we are missing the boat. A freebee is a freebee …. Gramps says no. Wrong thing to do.
      I like money so I am mixed – but if others are eating from the same bowl year after year it’s tempting. Morally right? – not likely.
      Th efamily farm has made a lot of money over the years. Not so much in annual salaries taken but the land value is sky high and will be sold someday, likely fairly soon. That’s when the gold rush happens in farming

  8. RU Kidding says:

    Radical? Oh that’s right, she doesn’t think the government should spend more money than it has.

    How dare she.

    1. swiehl says:

      Except when it’s for her farm, her husband’s business or her foster children. Hypocrite Bachmann, 2012

  9. RU Kidding says:

    That seems an extraordinarily reasonable position.

    I feel the same way about Kieth Ellison who had his car impounded because of unpaid parking tickets. I mean, come on!

  10. Murph says:

    Michele nothing personal or anything.Your profile may be stated in this article! But your I.Q. ,honesty and grasp on reality or lack there of, gives people the willies!

  11. Murph says:

    OBTW,Kevin.. you have to hit the ‘submit comment ” box or they won’t print it! One of their quirks!

  12. the old nurse says:

    WCCO did not. There is a middle missing in the thread

    1. the old nurse says:

      That was @ Swamp Rat,. Somebody did not like your discussion given where your comment is. It may explain the strange potion of your comment.

  13. Pam Nevers says:

    Bachman needs to go back to Iowa!

  14. Geoff says:

    Okay Bachmann lovers :

    Financial Disclosure as reported today:

    “Hey Michele — may I ask why this was filed now, only better than a month past the deadline to do so of February 20th ???
    I need to know as it’s about, as you allways say – taking account and personal responsibility for ones actions. Remember that non-stop phrase being uttered Michele ?

    Now may one suggest you pay your bills and pay the staff owed BEFORE you start chasing another term where you suck on the taxpayer nipple for your taxpayer funded paycheck..and benefits.
    That is the right and moral thing to do Michele – do you understand moral Michele ?
    I am just asking so we all “get it”

  15. Hmmm says:

    Dear Mr McGoldrick,

    While you were busy judging someone else your closet fell open and some of your skeletons fell out. Perhaps your time would be better served operating your business at a level where you can actually pay your bills.

    62-CV-10-366 U.S. Foodservice, Inc. vs McGoldrick, Inc., and Brian McGoldrick d/b/a Admiral D’s 01/15/2010
    Ramsey Civil
    Mott, J. Thomas Contract
    82-CO-10-1812 HOA Financial Services LLC, Waters Edge Court Homes Association Inc vs Brian McGoldrick 10/25/2010
    – Washington-Stillwater Conciliation
    82-CO-11-658 JOHNNY’S TV vs Brian J McGoldrick, Admiral D’s, McGoldrick, Inc 04/28/2011
    – Washington-Stillwater Conciliation
    Ramsey Housing Conciliation Conciliation
    62-CV-11-6715 NORTH STAR BANK vs Docks of White Bear Lake LLC, Brian J McGoldrick 08/12/2011
    Ramsey Civil
    VanDeNorth, John B., Jr. Contract
    82-CV-12-124 JOHNNY’S TV vs Brian J McGoldrick, Admiral D’s, McGoldrick, Inc 01/05/2012
    – Washington-Stillwater Transcript Judgment

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