Michele Bachmann, 55, is a three-term congresswoman elected to the House from a district that includes some suburbs north and east of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. She dropped out of the race on January 4 after finishing sixth in the Iowa caucus.
Bachmann is the founder of the Tea Party Caucus, which has pushed for federal spending cuts beyond what her party’s leaders have accepted in compromises with Democrats. In April 2011, Bachmann was one of 28 Republicans who voted against an eleventh-hour compromise to prevent a federal government shutdown. Bachmann said the agreement was “a disappointment” because of insufficient spending reductions. She calls for reductions in spending.
She entered the presidential primary in June and finished first in the Aug. 13 Ames Straw Poll in Iowa.
Prior to serving in the U.S. Congress, Michele was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in 2000 where she advocated for the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Before that, she spent five years as a federal tax litigation attorney, working on both civil and criminal cases. Bachmann grew up in the Midwest and met her husband, Marcus, while they were working on the 1976 presidential campaign of Jimmy Carter.
Her first visit to Washington, D.C., she said, was to dance at Carter’s inaugural ball. She said she became a Republican after reading the Gore Vidal novel “Burr,” which she said mocked the nation’s founding fathers. Bachmann is a graduate of Winona State University in Minnesota.
She received her J.D. at the O.W. Coburn School of Law at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa and an L.L.M. in Tax Law at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
She has been married for more than thirty years and lives in Stillwater, where she and her husband own a small business mental health care practice that employs nearly 50 people. Bachmann has five children. In addition, the Bachmann family has cared for 23 foster children.
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