Michele Bachmann: Is She Gambling Her Congressional Seat Away?

  Bookmark and Share  Congresswoman Michele Bachmann called in to Wednesday night’s broadcast of Mark Levin’s radio program and discussed her blueprint for economic prosperity and job creation. Toward the end of her interview, Mark asked Bachmann indicated that he is not sure how it works in Minnesota but he asked if she is also running for reelection to her congressional seat.

The question was a good one, because there are some states where you can run for two separate offices on the same ballot.

The ability to do that makes the decision to run for higher much easier if you hold , say a safe House seat and wanted to run for the U.S. Senate, or even Vice President or President.  You could still run for one of those offices and be secure in the fact that if you lose, you will likely still be reelected to Congress.  But such an opportunity is varies from state to state based upon such allowances in their individual state election laws.

In Minnesota, state law prevents a major party candidate from running for President and Congress at the same time.

In Bachmann’s case, that means she would have to give up on running either for President or for reelection to her congressional seat.

In answering Mark Levin’s question, Bachmann made it clear that she is running for President and nothing else.  The Congresswoman indicated that she feels  that our nation is at critical crossroads and the direction we go is so important that she will put all of her energy in to becoming President and assure that we head in the right direction.

Then Bachmann casually added;

“I think the filing deadline to run for office in Minnesota is in the summer and we will know who the nominee is by then”. 

That statement suggests that Bachmann is definitely aware of the fact that she will have the opportunity to seek reelection to her seat in the House of Representatives and more than likely knows what her answer is.

The truth is that the cutoff period for filing is not in the summer but it’s close enough.  According to the deadlines established on Minnesota Secretary of State’s website, the filing deadline for Bachmann is May 5, 2012, and by that time, we will surely know who the Republican nominee will be.  If Republicans do not know who their nominee will be by May of next year, then they will be in big trouble.

So while Bachmann may indeed be sincere about her desire to run only for President, she knows very well that she will probably be running for reelection to the House.

On a side note, there is precedence for candidates running for two offices at the same time, on the same ballot.   In 1960 LBJ ran for Vice President and for reelection to his Senate seat from Texas.  In 1988, Democrat Lloyd Bentsen, also from Texas, did the same thing as Michale Dukakis’ running mate.  Texas law specifically permitted them to do so. The Texas state legislature passed what is commonly called the LBJ law, specifically for his benefit back in 1959. But while Texas law allows you to run for any two seats simultaneously, other states like Missouri and Connecticut only one of the two offices that a candidate simultaneously runs for to be for that of the Presidency or Vice Presidency, only.

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One of the most recent such cases occurred in 2000 when Democrat Al Gore chose Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman as his Vice Presidential running mate.  Luckily for Lieberman, he was able to run for Vice President and reelection to the senate at the same time.  While Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee and the general election, Joe Liberman carried Connecticut for the democratic ticket and won reelection to his senate seat.

Aside from examples of dual presidential and senate candidacies, in 1968, Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. John Dent ran for both renomination to the House and for his Party’s  U.S. Senate nomination.  Dent won renomination for his congressional seat but he lost the senate Democrat Senate nomination to incumbent senator Joseph Clark.

As for Michele Bachmann, she clearly can run for one or the other not both.  But with 100,000 voters needed to be cut out of her current seat due to redistricting, it is not known how strong a Republican seat her congressional district will be.  Insiders suggest that it will still lean Republican.  Another good sign for Bachmann is that there are still no Republican names knocking down the door to replace her.  Still, when asked about running for reelection to her 6th district seat in the recent past, Bachmann has for the most part, avoided the question.
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One Response

  1. […] announcement hardly came as a surprise and was anticipated by White House 2012 as far back as October of 2011 when I wrote “while Bachmann may indeed be sincere about her […]

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