Updated - 2 p.m.: The Jim Graves campaign conceded the Sixth Congressional Distrtict race Wednesday morning, issuing a statement via social media.
In a Facebook post, Graves said, "I want to congratulate Rep. Bachmann on her victory last night. We wish her and her family the very best. I also want to thank all of the folks who worked so hard on our campaign over the last seven months. Their support has meant the world to me and my family and we are incredibly humbled by their dedication. We remain hopeful that our country can come together and address the pressing issues before us. Thanks again to all. -Jim."
Graves told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he "didn't think" he'd take another shot at the seat in two years. When asked that same question by Patch several months ago, that if he'd try again should he lose, he gave this response.
"I'm a businessman, not a politician," Graves said. "I really view this as a way to give back to the people here."
Bachmann spent an estimated $23 million to retain her seat. She issued this statment:
""It has truly been an honor and a privilege to represent the people of Minnesota's Sixth District in Congress, and I am humbled that they have placed their trust in me for another term."
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Bachmann's lead is at about 4,000 votes, or a little more than 1 percent.
Updated - 4 a.m.: WCCO-TV and the Associated Press have declared Michele Bachmann the winner over Jim Graves with 98 percent of precincts reporting.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann maintained a narrow lead in the vote count early Wednesday morning as the Minnesota Secretary of State continued to calculate the final tally of votes between Bachmann and her DFL challenger Graves.
With 274 of 280 precincts reporting, Bachmann had extended her lead to between 3,500-4,000 votes. But the tally—still technically unofficial as of this update—was also still expected to narrow as some of the uncounted precincts were from Graves' hometown area.
Still, the margin was wide enough for WCCO and the Associated Press to call the race for Bachmann. KARE11-TV was also reporting the win shortly before 5 a.m.
Stay tuned to St. Michael Patch for more results.
Updated - 2:20 a.m., 87 percent of precincts reporting
Graves has been hanging around his headquarters in St. Cloud, trying to work up the district's largest metropolitan area and use his hometown connections. He was on the campus of St. Cloud State University Monday.
Both were at election parties Tuesday. Graves spent the night with Minnesota DFL mainstay Sen. Amy Klobuchar's party in Minneapolis, while Bachmann appeared at the state GOP Party in Bloomington.
UPDATE - 1:05 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7: Challenger Jim Graves had taken his first lead in this election with about 75 percent of all precincts reporting.
Outspoken Republican and Tea Party Caucus founder Rep. Michele Bachmann is facing a stiff challenge from Minneapolis business magnate and St. Cloud native Jim Graves in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District.
As of 11:30 p.m. CST, Bachmann and Graves were deadlocked at 50 percent. Bachmann had receied 97,954 votes to Democrat-Farm-Labor candidate Graves, who had 97,596.
Heres' the latest:
United States Congress District 6Candidate Votes Percentage Michele Bachmann (R) 146,674 50 Jim Graves (DFL) 145,037