Michele Bachmann says she's open to running for Al Franken's Senate seat in 2018

The former U.S. rep discussed whether she might run for the U.S. Senate in 2018.
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The Essentials

1. Michele Bachmann isn't ruling out a run for the U.S. Senate. The former U.S. Rep for Minnesota's 6th Congressional District said on the Jim Bakker Show last week that she's gotten calls from people urging her to join the race to replace Al Franken in 2018.

2. "The only reason I would run is for the ability to take these [religious] principles into the United States Senate, to be able to advocate for these principles," the Republican lawmaker said. "The question is, should it be me, should it be now? But there's also, there's a price you pay. And the price is bigger than ever because the swamp is so toxic."

3. Bachmann served in the U.S. House for four terms (January of 2007 through January of 2015), representing an area northwest of the Twin Cities during that time. She ran for president in 2012, but suspended the campaign after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses.. She opted not to run for re-election in the House in 2014.

What Else You Should Know

If Bachmann runs in the 2018 special election, it could mean a return to public office after a four-year absence.

But she's still iffy. In the interview, Bachmann discussed some of her reservations – the constant attacks, getting chopped up by others in D.C. when "trying to stand for biblical principles," and whether she feels like it's God's calling for her to do so among them. 

She also said Republicans in 2018 need to be wary of sexual harassment allegations against candidates, saying:

"Because that's why Al Franken I think was forced out by the Democrat Party in Minnesota," she said. "I'm not saying he didn't do some bad boy things, I think he did, but he didn't do what Harvey Weinstein did. He didn't do that. But the Democrat Party, they even admit they threw Al Franken under the bus because they wanted to look pure. They aren't, but they want to look pure, because I think they wanna drop some of these false allegations. They want that tool in their toolbox in 2018. So I think you know, if you'e a Republican man or Republican woman, they'll come up with some phony bologna thing at the last hour, and what do you do? What do you do?"

Bachmann won her last U.S. House election (2012) with 50.47 percent of the vote, a hair ahead of Democrat Jim Graves who took 49.26 percent. 

In 2013, federal investigators began an ethics investigation into her previous presidential run over allegations of inappropriately using campaign funds. Later that year she announced she wouldn't run for re-election in 2014 – and once she left office early the next year, the probe was dropped.

Bachmann is the second big Republican name to publicly say they'd consider running for Franken's Senate seat. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty in December described himself as "reflecting" on the idea, MPR reported.

The Senate seat will be on the ballot Nov. 6, 2018. Whoever wins will serve the rest of Franken's term, which ends in early 2021. Tina Smith will hold the seat until the election, but plans to run to keep it beyond that.

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