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Tom Emmer makes his Congressional campaign official

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Republican Tom Emmer came up just short in his bid for the governor's office. Now he'll try for a seat in Congress.

Emmer announced Wednesday that he's a candidate in the Sixth Congressional District. The race in that district was thrown wide open last week when Republican incumbent Michele Bachmann and her 2012 Democratic challenger, Jim Graves, each announced they would not run in 2014.

Emmer launched his campaign in Delano. He told the Associated Press he hopes to follow in Bachmann's footsteps and said he'd work for personal rights and liberties and against government growth.

Emmer's 2010 gubernatorial campaign against Democrat Mark Dayton produced a race so close a recount was needed before Dayton was declared the winner. Emmer previously served in the Minnesota House. He is also an attorney and radio host.

He's the first candidate to enter the Sixth District race since the announcements by Bachmann and Graves. The Pioneer Press reports at least 10 other Republicans who are past or present officeholders or party leaders have expressed an interest in the seat.

But Emmer's early entry may discourage some from running. One Emmer adviser put it this way to the Pioneer Press: "The question anybody else is going to have to answer is what is the reason they should be the candidate and not Tom Emmer."

Even before he announced his candidacy, Emmer picked up an endorsement this week from one of his potential GOP rivals, former state Sen. Amy Koch.

TPT reports Emmer has agreed to abide by the Republican Party's endorsement.

As WCCO tweets, Democrats are making their thoughts about Emmer known:

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