Graves says he's not opposed to self-financing a portion of his campaign, but that isn't the message he wants to send to voters.
"I'd like to see the sixth district get some skin in the game," he says. "Getting them to support me and getting them on my team is the whole point."
Graves was raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota and attended St. Cloud College. He was one of six kids and says he earned an appreciation for hard work early in his life that helped him launch a motel chain and eventually allowed him the opportunity to break into the high-end hotel market.
Before he decided to take on Bachmann, Graves' pet project was 601 Graves, a luxury hotel in Minneapolis that Travel + Leisure selected as one of its 500 best hotels.
On the issues, Graves says he is a moderate Democrat with a smattering of libertarian ideals who believes in free enterprise and prefers to stay away from letting social issues dominate a campaign.
"The role of a congressman isn't to get engaged in social or moral issues," he says. "I want to focus on jobs and the economy. Efficient government is extremely important and those core values will resonate with the people in the sixth district."
Bachmann's campaign isn't writing off the challenge. Bachmann recognizes Graves will be a competitor, but is confident the Congresswoman's commitment to conservative ideals will keep her in office.
"Democrats would like to have the sixth district and we expect them to be active in this race," Kroll says. "But time has proven that our constituents support the conservative solutions to create jobs, lower taxes, reduce government involvement and promote liberty."
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