MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — What a difference a week in the race for Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. A week ago Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was running campaign ads — a recent poll showed she was in a dead heat with Jim Graves the DFL challenger who almost beat her in 2012.

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Now both Bachmann and Graves are out of the race.

In just days, Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District has gone from one of the most hotly contested and watched congressional races in the country to a race with no candidates. At least not yet.

The district, which stretches from Woodbury north to St. Cloud and west to Delano, is the most conservative in the state. There are an estimated 10 percent more Republicans in the district than Democrats.

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Mitt Romney carried the district by 15 percentage points. So whoever snags the Republican Party’s nomination for the seat will be the heavy favorite to win. So who might run?

Within hours of Bachmann’s announcement, Tom Emmer who came within 8,000 votes of beating Mark Dayton for Governor, emailed reporters to say he is seriously considering it. Emmer appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“We are strongly considering it. Like everyone else, we were all stunned Wednesday morning by Michele Bachmann’s announcement, Jackie and I were no different, and what happened to me after that were phone calls from friends and supporters. She has done a great job for their 6th District. What happened after that was phone calls from friends supporter family members,” he said. “Yeah, I started thinking about it and at the end of the day because of the great people that were calling I started to think about it more seriously.”

There are others prominent Republicans who say they might jump in. They include state Rep. Matt Dean and former state Rep. Phil Krinkie. As for Democrats, they insist they are not conceding this seat. They point to the fact that in last November’s elections Jim Graves came within 4,000 votes of beating Michele Bachmann and Sen. Amy Klobuchar won every county in the district on her way to her landslide reelection victory.

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Esme Murphy