Michele Bachmann Will Not Seek Re-Election In 2014

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 29, 2013 2:10PM

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U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) leaves after a news conference May 16, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Bachmann held a news conference with Tea Party leaders and congressional members to discuss the IRS scandal of targeting the Tea Party. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann, one of the more vocal conservatives in Congress, announced Wednesday she will not seek re-election in 2014.

Bachmann, in a video announcing her decision on her website, said eight years representing her district was enough time in office and that her narrow 2012 victory over hotelier Jim Graves had no bearing on her decision. Despite massively outspending Graves, Bachmann beat him by only 4,200 votes; over 356,000 votes were cast.

“Be assured,” Bachmann said in the video, “my decision was not in any way influenced by any concerns about my being re-elected to Congress. I’ve always, in the past, defeated candidates who are capable, qualified and well-funded. And I have every confidence that if I ran, I would again defeat the individual who I defeated last year.” She didn't blink excessively or stammer, so she must be telling the truth.

Bachmann also said her decision was not based by current investigations into her ill-fated 2012 presidential campaign. In March it was reported The Office of Congressional Ethics was investigating allegations of secret payments from Bachmann’s political action committee to campaign aide and Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson and one of her campaign’s political directors. The FBI announced last week they began their own investigation into the allegations.

The Federal Election Commission, Iowa Senate Ethics Committee and Urbandale (Iowa) Police Department are also conducting separate investigations into her campaign fund and the alleged payments to Sorenson, she used campaign funds to promote her book, and that one of her staffers stole an email list from a home-school group. Two of Bachmann’s former campaign staffers have cooperated with authorities and agreed to testify against her.

Bachmann has maintained her innocence and denied any wrongdoing, but Craig Holman, a government ethics lobbyist with watchdog group Public Citizen, told Salon.com earlier this month she could be in some very hot water.

”It’s not Watergate, or at least not yet, but these are a series of allegations that are each serious on their own, and when you put them all together, this could be a career ender for Michele Bachmann.”