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Associated Press, Published January 29 2010

Clark launches campaign to unseat Rep. Bachmann

ST. PAUL – Democrat Tarryl Clark showed her focus on unseating Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann on Thursday, launching her campaign with an attack on the incumbent for speaking to a conservative group far from home.

Bachmann was slated to appear before the Lincoln Club of Orange County in California.

Clark, a two-term state senator from St. Cloud, formally announced her candidacy at the state Capitol before heading out to visit cities across Minnesota’s 6th District.

“I’m doing the work that Michele Bachmann isn’t,” Clark said. “Those families know that spending your day seeking headlines won’t feed a family or help you when you’re sick or create a job.”

Clark is competing with physician Maureen Reed for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s endorsement. If the party backs Clark, Reed has vowed to challenge her in a primary.

Both are positioning themselves as the one to defeat Bachmann, who has become one of the highest-profile conservatives in the U.S. House in two terms.

That won’t be easy in a district that usually votes GOP in statewide and national races. The 6th District wraps around the northern half of the Twin Cities and extends west past St. Cloud.

Clark brushed off a question about the differences between herself and Reed, saying she wants to keep the attention on Bachmann. She said she would foster closer ties to the district and support what she called fair taxes.

State Rep. Larry Haws of St. Cloud said he is backing Clark because she is tenacious.

“She’s always done a little bit better than her enemies thought she could do,” he said.

Clark has served as the spokeswoman for majority Democrats in the Minnesota Senate, leaving a detailed record of statements and votes that Republicans are expected to use against her.

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