"Basically, after all that's gone on, and with Michele Bachmann now stepping down, I've been talking to my friends and family and frankly, the feeling is, 'Mission Accomplished,'" Graves told MinnPost.com Friday. "She wasn't representing the people of the 6th [Congressional] District appropriately, and now she won't be representing them. There's no way anyone could run and win who would be worse than Michele Bachmann. So we accomplished that task."
Graves said he didn't know what factored into Bachmann's decision not to run, announced earlier this week. In 2012, he nearly pulled off an upset, losing to Bachmann by about 4,300 votes.
"Clearly, it was going to be a competitive race. All through Memorial Day weekend, she was in the district, working the crowds," he said. "Obviously something happened to cause her to believe that she shouldn't run again. We're very happy she dropped out. The country can do better."
Concerning his own future, Graves said, "I'm not a politician; I'm a business guy. Now there are zero things on my agenda that I feel a need to do in public life."
Bachmann said her decision not to seek re-election wasn't influenced by questions about whether she could win re-election with ethics inquiries about her 2012 presidential campaign and presidential campaign staff hanging.