Potential Candidates Vying for Bachmann's Seat

Updated: 06/04/2013 3:54 PM KSTP.com By: Maricella Miranda

Photo by MGN Online
Photo by MGN Online

Republicans expect a long line of potential candidates from their party to replace Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.
State Rep. Matt Dean, a former House majority leader, says he's inclined to run and would announce his formal intentions soon. Bachmann announced Wednesday, May 29, that she would leave the seat after completing her fourth term, setting off a 2014 scramble.

State Sen. Michelle Benson, state Rep. Tim Sanders and former state Rep. Phil Krinkie are among those who say they weighing campaigns. Former State Rep. Tom Emmer said he plans to make an announcement about the race on Wednesday, June 5.
The 6th Congressional District is the most heavily Republican district in Minnesota, giving the eventual nominee the advantage. Democrat Jim Graves initially announced that he would run against Bachmann in 2014, but he recently dropped out of the race.
When Bachmann won the seat in 2006, she first navigated a crowded GOP field.

The following is information about the potential candidates vying for Bachmann's vacant seat.

Michelle Benson

State Sen. Michelle, of Ham Lake, was elected in 2010 to represent District 31. She recently held the role as assistant minority leader. Benson is married with three children. She works as a CPA.

In the last legislative session, Benson authored bills that required public schools to adopt a policy against bullying, and an income tax credit for veteran jobs.

Matt Dean

State Rep. Matt Dean, of Dellwood, was elected in 2004 to represent District 38B. He's served five terms in the legislature. Dean is married with three children. His family has lived in Minnesota for five generations.

In the last legislative session, Dean authored bills supporting death benefits for retired members of the White Bear Lake Volunteer Fire Department Relief Association, as well as grants for science and technology-focused workforce expansion.

Tom Emmer

Former State Rep. Tom Emmer, an attorney, ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010 as the Republican-endorsed candidate. He served in the Minnesota House from 2005 to 2010, representing District 19B, which includes Hennepin and Wright counties.

Emmer, who was born in Indiana, eventually moved to Minnesota where he was raised in Eagan. He later moved to Delano, where he began his political career in 1995 on the city council. He also volunteered as a city firefighter. Emmer is married with seven children.

A website, called Tom Emmer for Congress, was recently created.

Phillip "Phil" Krinkie

Phil Krinkie, of Shoreview, is president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, which he joined in 2007. He previously served 16 years in the Minnesota House, representing District 53A, serving Anoka and Ramsey counties. He was first elected as an Independent Republican.

Krinkie, who was born in Maplewood, has owned The Snelling Company, a local heating and air conditioning business, for 25 years. Krinkie is married with one child.

In the legislature, Krinkie had a reputation for being fiscally conservative.

Before being elected to the House, Krinkie ran unsuccessfully as representative twice before. He previously sought and lost the Republican party endorsement to Bachmann for the 6th Congressional House District race in May 2006.

He also ran unsuccessfully as the Republican party endorsed candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in the 2006 election. His opponent, Paul Gardner, defeated him by only 55 votes so an automatic recount occurred. The recount confirmed Gardner's win.

Tim Sanders

State Rep. Tim Sanders, of Blane, was elected in 2008 to serve District 37B. Sanders works as a consultant, and is married with three children.

In the last legislative session, Sanders authored bills that would support a payroll tax credit, and funding for an expansion for the National Sports Center in Blaine.

Peggy Scott

State Rep. Peggy Scott, of Andover, was elected in 2008 to represent District 35B. She's served three terms. Scott's occupation is a homemaker. She studied fashion merchandising, and is a former licensed realtor.

Her husband and her previously owned a small business. Scott has two children.

Bills she authored in the last legislative session include a bill allowing the Department of Corrections to access data to track employment of offenders sentenced to probation for the purpose of case planning, and allowing federally-licensed firearms and ammunition manufacturers to possess silencers for testing or selling to government agencies, military and other federally-licensed manufacturers.

Source: The Minnesota State Legislature website. The Associated Press contributed to this story.