03/05/2013 01:13 pm ET

Jim Graves, Michele Bachmann Opponent, Suggests Electoral Battle 'Isn't Over'

Jim Graves, a Minnesota hotelier who came within 5,000 votes of defeating Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) in 2012, is beginning to sound like he's ready to mount another run against the conservative firebrand.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that Graves jabbed Bachmann in an email to supporters on Monday, criticizing her vote against the Violence Against Women Act last week and calling out lawmakers for the ongoing failure to reach an agreement to end sequestration.

"I know that the work we started last year, well, it isn't over," Graves wrote.

Graves has maintained that he'd keep an "open mind" about opposing Bachmann again. He suggested after his defeat last year that the close race might lead Bachmann to change "her modus operandi," perhaps leaving him satisfied to let another opponent step in.

But last month, he appeared happy to criticize Bachmann in an interview with the St. Cloud Times, saying he'd make a final decision by April 1 about launching another congressional campaign.

Bachmann ultimately defeated Graves by only a few thousand votes out of more than 350,000 ballots cast. The race was her closest despite Bachmann's prolific fundraising, which allowed her to outspend Graves by a 12-to-1 margin.



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