ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann paints Democratic challenger Jim Graves as a big spender in her first TV ad of the year in Minnesota’s 6th District.

The ad from the former presidential candidate started running Thursday, dubbing Graves “Big Spendin’ Jim.”

It ties Graves to Democratic-backed policies enacted more than two years ago — the Wall Street bailout of 2008, the economic stimulus of 2009 and the federal health care overhaul of 2010. The ad concludes by saying, “We can’t afford Big Spendin’ Jim in Congress.”

Graves is turning the spending attack back on Bachmann, saying her claims about him are “falsehoods” and she has a record of “reckless spending” in Congress.

Bachmann is seeking a fourth term representing the northern Twin Cities suburbs and St. Cloud area in the House.

Political files from the four major Twin Cities networks showed her spending more than $270,000 to air the ad for nearly two weeks.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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