Michele Bachmann, the fiery Minnesota religious conservative, told a TV interviewer she is mulling a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated Tuesday by Al Franken.

“I’ve had people contact me and urge me to run for that Senate seat. The only reason I would run is for the ability to take these principles into the United States Senate, to be able to advocate for these principles,” she said, referring to her brand of conservative Christianity.

“The question is, should it be me? Should it be now?” Bachmann asked while appearing on the Jim Bakker Show in late December.

Bachmann, who represented Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District from 2007-14, unsuccessfully ran for the 2012 Republican nomination for president.

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Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will replace Franken Wednesday and has pledged to run for the remainder of Franken’s term in a November special election. The only other candidate to announce a run in the special election is state Karin Housley, a Republican who represents an east metro suburban district.

Bachmann has long been a polarizing figure both in Minnesota and nationally. Democrats spent millions trying to unseat her while she represented a solidly conservative House district. She became nationally well known for statements that found to be untrue, such as a claim in a nationally televised presidential debate that the HPV vaccine can cause mental retardation. But she was also a champion of religious conservatives who was a fierce critic of Obamacare and other policies of former President Obama.

Bachmann acknowledged the challenge of running as a conservative Republican given the current political climate.

“My husband and I aren’t money people,” she said, “If you’re a billionaire, maybe you can defend yourself.”


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