Jim Graves, hotel magnate, receives DFL endorsement to challenge Michele Bachmann
This November, Jim Graves will square off against incumbent Michele Bachmann for the U.S. House's 6th Minnesota District seat.
Saturday, Graves easily received the DFL endorsement at the 6th Congressional District's convention in Blaine, prompting the two other DFL candidates, businessman Brian McGoldrick and workplace consultant Anne Nolan, to announce they won't run in this summer's primary.
Graves hasn't yet articulated much of a policy platform, but on Saturday, took shots at Bachmann's propensity for making outlandish statements. He characterized her as "more interested in running around Iowa" than representing the 6th.
Graves told delegates he's pro-choice and opposes the proposed marriage amendment to Minnesota's constitution. In a Mother Jones profile, he characterized himself as "a very free-market kind of guy" who believes "the markets make better decisions than the politicians in the marketplace." He said "affordable health care, and livable wages, and good education" are "probably the fundamental thing[s] I really believe in," but added, regarding the controversial individual mandate requiring all Americans to have health care, that he wants "to see what the courts have to say about it" before articulating his view.
Considering Graves' wealth and popularity, it looks like Bachmann faces a stiff challenge.
His campaign manager promised that Graves would share more of his political views once the 6th District convention is in the rear-view mirror.
Graves, who created the AmericInn motel chain before founding his luxury-focused Graves Hospitality company, owner of downtown Minneapolis' Graves 601 Hotel, has already tapped into his considerable personal wealth to bankroll his campaign -- last week, federal campaign filings indicated he's loaned his campaign $100,000. He lives in Minneapolis, meaning neither he nor Bachmann actually live in the 6th District, but went to college and spent decades living in St. Cloud.
The hospitality union Unite Here wasted no time in endorsing Graves, suggesting his own workers support him. Prior to Saturday's convention, Bachmann was already warning her supporters that "my opponent [has] the support and endorsements of labor unions such as Unite Here, and will not only continue to receive union endorsements but also be a recipient of their funds."
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