U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, the ultra-right favorite of tea party Republicans, says she will not seek re-election in 2014.
Bachmann, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and narrowly won a fourth term in House in the fall, made the announcement in a video posted to her website.
She said, "My decision was not influenced by any concerns about my being re-elected." In 2014, Bachmann again would be facing Democrat Jim Graves, a wealthy hotel executive who lost to her in 2012 by just 4,300 votes.
“This decision," she also said, "was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign.”
Bachmann's presidential campaign is under investigation following a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission that alleges she made improper payments to an Iowa state senator who was the state chairman of her 2012 presidential run, according to The Associated Press. The aide, Peter Waldron, also accused Bachmann of other FEC violations.
Bachmann, the AP said, gave few clues she might quit Congress. She's been fundraising and has an ad on Twin Cities television promoting her opposition to the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare.
"I will continue to work overtime for the next 18 months in Congress defending the same Constitutional Conservative values we have worked so hard on together," Bachmann, 56, said.
After Congress, she said, “There is no future option or opportunity, be it directly in the political arena or otherwise, that I won’t be giving serious consideration if it can help save and protect our great nation.”
It was unclear whether that was a hint at a run for higher office – Bachmann's presidential bid in 2012 generated a lot of energy and enthusiasm on the Christian right, but the candidate also made many gaffes.
Bachmann has one of the worst records on LGBT issues in Congress. In her rhetoric, she's demonized LGBT people and, with her husband, has promoted so-called ex-gay therapy, a debunked and dangerous practice attempting to "cure" homosexuality through prayer, counseling and more aggressive tactics.
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