Physician Maureen Reed announced Sunday that she is ending her Democratic primary challenge to state Sen. Tarryl Clark in Minnesota’s 6th district, clearing the way for the state-party-endorsed candidate to be the nominee against GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann in November.
“During the past few days, I have come to the conclusion that a prolonged primary fight only assists Michele Bachmann,” Reed said in a statement. She also said she is endorsing Clark, the Assistant Majority Leader in the state Senate.
In a statement, Clark called Reed “a spirited competitor” and said that the intraparty race had strengthened the Democratic effort to try to oust Bachmann this fall.
“I am honored by and thankful for Maureen Reed’s endorsement,” Clark said. “Dr. Reed’s supporters and volunteers did a tremendous amount of work to help defeat Michele Bachmann in November, and I invite and encourage them to continue those efforts with our team.”
Reed’s exit from the contest allows Clark to train all of her focus and resources on what is expected to be an expensive general election contest, instead of contending with an August primary. Clark won the endorsement of the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in March, and she is the favored nominee of national party operatives and organizations. She has the support of Minnesota’s Democratic Congressional delegation and the state’s major labor unions, as well as EMILY’s List.
Bachmann has been a lightning rod for controversy since she was elected to Congress in 2006. The suburban district slightly favors Republicans, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried the 6th district in the 2008 presidential race with 53 percent of the vote.