National Democrats add Graves to emerging candidates list

National Democrats added Jim Graves, the businessman challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in the 6th District, to their list of candidates to watch on Wednesday.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee put Graves on its list of “emerging races,” signifying races that could potentially become competitive. Graves is still a step below the DCCC’s Red-to-Blue program which provides fundraising and behind-the-scenes support to top tier candidates in especially competitive districts (2nd District Democrat Mike Obermueller is in the Red-to-Blue program).

Graves will need all the fundraising help he can get; he’s raised more than $320,000 this cycle (including sizable personal loans), while Bachmann pulled down $1 million in July alone.

Bachmann has so far avoided the DCCC attention that, in part, helped make her 2010 re-election campaign the most expensive in the country (her opponent, Tarryl Clark, was on the Red-to-Blue list). But her recent comments about the Muslim Brotherhood piqued the DCCC’s interest, and Graves is now on its radar.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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