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Bachmann's former Democratic opponent: "Mission accomplished"

Democrat Jim Graves, who narrowly lost last year to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., suspended his 2014 campaign for the same seat Friday, following her May 29 announcement that she won't run for re-election.

Without Bachmann's far right policy positions in the 2014 race, Graves said in a statement today that the feeling among him and his supporters is "mission accomplished."

"This was about challenging the ineffective leadership and extremist ideology of Michele Bachmann on behalf of those she represents," he said."As of Wednesday, that goal was accomplished."

Minnesota Post first reported the news Friday morning in an interview with Graves, a businessman who owns a hotel chain. Though he wouldn't comment about how his campaign would have been different without Bachmann, Graves said the national Democratic Party, liberal donor base and media will now likely care less about this congressional race in the district that Mitt Romney won with more than 56 percent - a 15 percent victory - in 2012.

In Minnesota's most conservative district, Graves' pragmatic politics didn't sway the area's predominant Republican base from its far-right tea party candidate in 2012 - they'd be less likely to do so without Bachmann next year.

"There's no way anyone could run and win who would be worse than Michele Bachmann," Graves, who Bachmann defeated by just over 4,000 votes in 2012, told the Minnesota Post. "We're very happy she dropped out. The country can do better."

No other Republicans or Democrats have yet announced their interest in replacing Bachmann, though some conservatives have voiced interest in running for this seat.

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