MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The Democrat who narrowly lost to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann last year is seeking a rematch.

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Businessman Jim Graves announced Thursday that he will run again for Congress in Minnesota’s 6th District. That’s the St. Cloud and northern Twin Cities-area seat that Republican Bachmann has held since 2006.

In 2012, Graves lost to Bachmann, of Stillwater, by about 4,300 votes in what was one of the nation’s closest House races. His campaign manager told the Times he felt an “outpouring of support” from people who want him to run again.

“In 2012, we built a grassroots campaign that shocked the political world. Despite all the odds, we came within just one point of defeating Rep. Bachmann – that’s 15 votes per voting district,” said Graves’ press release. “Last year’s lesson is clear: If we compete with her from day one, we’ll win. Voters have abandoned her. Republicans have abandoned her. This is ours.”

The Republican Party of Minnesota responded with a statement:

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“Democrat Jim Graves said during the last campaign ‘If we’ve ever had a chance to defeat Bachmann, this is it.’ Congresswoman Bachmann prevailed in 2012 and she will again in 2014.

Michele Bachmann will prevail because she has been an effective voice willing to stand up to the Obama-Pelosi agenda of chronic wasteful spending in Washington, D.C. The last thing the hardworking taxpayers of the 6th District need is another politician who will not challenge President Obama’s $3.77 trillion budget proposal that will do nothing to erase the $800 billion deficit facing our children and grandchildren.

Michele Bachmann has the strength to challenge those in Washington to go through the Obama budget line by line and get our country back on the path to a healthy economy.”

Graves is a longtime hotel company executive who founded Graves World Hospitality, a company with holdings that include the Graves 601 Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. He grew up in St. Cloud.

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