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State Sen. Kiffmeyer indicates interest in Bachmann seat

Of the names that have surfaced to run as a Republican to replace Rep. Michele Bachmann, none is better known that Mary Kiffmeyer.

State Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, shown speaking on the House floor, has an extensive political background, which will provide ammunition for Republican and Democratic opposition.
MinnPost file photo by James Nord

Of the names that have surfaced to run as a Republican to replace Rep. Michele Bachmann, none is better known that Mary Kiffmeyer.

The state senator from Big Lake, former state representative and two-term secretary of state said the possibility is “definitely there.  There’s no decision, yes or no.”

Bachmann’s decision to not run again, announced in a video to her supporters early this morning, came as a surprise to Kiffmeyer.  “It was quite a surprise,” she said.  “I was anticipating her running again and winning again.”

Kiffmeyer characterized Bachmann’s announcement as “thoughtful. I’m just glad she made a decision in time for there to be an opportunity for a good replacement.”

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There’s no shortage of elected Republicans in the sixth congressional district.  In addition to Kiffmeyer, the legislative delegation includes state representatives Kurt Daudt , Matt Dean and Jim Abeler, and state Sens. Michelle Fischbach and Michelle Benson.

Of that group, Kiffmeyer has the most extensive political background, which will provide ammunition for Republican and Democratic opposition. She was a strong champion of the defeated proposal to make voter identification part of the Minnesota constitution.  She described former legislator and Iraq war hero John Kreisel as having “no courage” when he decided not to run for re-election, suggesting his decision was linked to his vote to support a new Vikings stadium.  She is unafraid of invoking faith and religion in her discussion of political issues.

But her positions marry well in the strongly conservative sixth district.    “Name I.D. and so forth make a difference, but is that enough?” she said.  “It’s a great district for so many of us on the Republican side.  I recognize that I bring some things to that.”  

One factor in any decision, Kiffmeyer said, is that she enjoys being a state senator and “a candidate has to want to run.”  Still, she said, the possibility was on the table and that, after another cup of coffee, she would be talking about it with her husband.