by Dennis Dalman
A local college professor, James Read, has announced he will campaign for election to the seat now held by Rep. Michele Bachmann in Congressional District 6.
The district includes St. Joseph and Sartell.
Read, an Avon resident, teaches political science at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict. He announced his candidacy at a public meeting Oct. 17 at the American Legion in St. Joseph.
The 6th District congressional race will be decided in the mid-term election Nov. 11, 2014.
Since Bachmann announced she would not seek a fifth term in the U.S. Congress, several people have expressed interest in the congressional seat. They include, so far, the following Republicans: Tom Emmer, a former representative and the 2010 nominee for governor; Phil Krinkie, a businessman from Delano; State Sen. John Pederson of St. Cloud; and Rhonda Sivarajah, Anoka County Board chair.
Another Democratic candidate who announced her intention to run for the seat is Judy Adams of Circle Pines, who is a painter and lead-prevention remodeler. Sartell Mayor Joe Perske has said he is also considering filing for the Bachmann seat.
Bachmann, a Republican from Stillwater and one-time presidential aspirant, was first elected in 2006, defeating Patty Wetterling of St. Joseph. Bachmann is now serving her fourth term in the House of Representatives.
Read said what convinced him to enter the race was the recent government shutdown.
“This week,” Read said in a statement, “I announced I would be a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 6th District of Minnesota, which is currently – and very unfortunately – represented by the extreme and divisive Michele Bachmann. I was horrified at the tactic of turning millions of ordinary citizens into hostages by shutting down the U.S. government and threatening to default on the national debt, all to win a high-stakes political gamble.”
Read said he respects the 87 Republicans who voted along with 198 Democrats to re-open the government and “prevent economic disaster.” But he added in the 6th Congressional District, there will, in his opinion, be “enormous pressure” for any Republican who replaces Bachmann to “step right back into her shoes.”
Another issue that concerns Read, he said, is the widespread collection of personal data from Americans in the name of national security.
“I ask for your support, your advice and your positive thoughts,” Read said to his supporters.