Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who announced her presidential campaign during Monday night's debate in New Hampshire, says she's not running for re-election to Congress while she's campaigning for her party's presidential nomination, the Associated Press reports.
State law permits Bachmann to drop out of the White House race and seek re-election to the House by June 5, 2012 -- the state's filing deadline. It's likely the Republican presidential nomination would be locked up by then, so if she wasn't the nominee, she'd have a path to switching back to a Congressional campaign.
A National Republican Congressional Committee source said late last month that the committee will not begin to recruit until Bachmann retires from Congress.
Former state Sen. Tarryl Clark, Bachmann's 2010 Democratic opponent, has announced she is running against freshman Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., in the 8th District. With redistricting, a lot is still up in the air -- but it appears Clark would be running in friendlier territory against Cravaack than against Bachmann.
Charlie Cook notes that in the Minnesota redistricting process, Bachmann's district will need to shed 100,000 residents, and "Democrats would love to eliminate [her seat] altogether, especially if she runs for Senate." But state GOP chair Tony Sutton points out that Republicans control the legislature, which is in charge of redrawing district boundaries.
Minnesota Republicans proposed a map last month that would essentially keep Bachmann's district intact, keeping its Cook Partisan Voter Index rating at R+7, according to data from the NRCC.
Redistricting "is not going to be an issue at all for her," Sutton said. "Even if you slice some of it off, it'll still be a conservative district."
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