As dawn broke on Wednesday, Minnesota Republicans began scrambling to answer: with U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's announcement that she would not seek a fifth term, who will vie to replace her?
The Republican-dominated sixth district, which slopes through the Twin Cities suburbs and exurbs and encompasses the city of St. Cloud, and the areas nearby include a raft of current, ex-lawmakers and other political activists who may look at running.
Tom Emmer: The former state lawmaker, who narrowly lost the 2010 gubernatorial election to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, said on Wednesday that he would consider it but added, "it's way too early to say what I might do." Like many in the district, he said that he was "stunned" by Bachmann's announcement. By later afternoon, he sounded more sure:"I am strongly considering running for the open seat."
Phil Krinkie: The current president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, former state Rep. Krinkie vied for the sixth congressional district Republican endorsement in 2006 and dropped out of the race when Bachmann nabbed the nod. He said he would give a run "serious consideration."
Amy Koch: The former Senate Majority Leader, Koch left senate leadership in 2011 and did not run for re-election last year after she had an affair with a staffer. On Wednesday, she said only, "I've been getting a lot of calls."
Tim Sanders: A three-term state representative from Blaine, Sanders said his phone has been ringing non-stop. “I’m interested...I think I’d be a fresh face and I think I represent the district well.”
Michelle Benson: First elected to the state Senate in 2010, Benson, from Ham Lake, said that she is "not a no, I am not a yes." She said that as a sitting lawmaker in a congressional district without an incumbent, she said she would have to talk the issue over with her family and give it "appropriate consideration."
Peggy Scott: The third term representative from Andover, said: "I’m considering it. My family and I mulling it over."She said she has not set a deadline for when she may make a decision.
Rhonda Sivarajah: The Anoka County commissioner, who was picked as Republican gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert's running mate in 2010, is interested in potentially running. “It is something I am considering," she said. "But I need to give it a great deal of thought with my family.”
Other names being mentioned: state Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, of Big Lake, Pete Hegseth, who briefly ran for U.S. Senate last year, Rep. Matt Dean, who lives just outside of the district in Dellwood, Pat Shortridge, the former chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party and a longtime political operative.
Kurt Daudt: The Minnesota House Minority Leader said his Crown, Minnesota home is just outside of the Sixth District but he is not thinking about running for Congress or any other higher office. Instead, he said, he would concentrate on winning the Minnesota House for Republicans in 2014.
Michelle Fischbach: Just a bit of Fischbach's current state senate district is in the Sixth District but her Paynesville home is not. She said Wednesday she would not run.
Couldn't quite say no:
Mark Kennedy: Kennedy held the Sixth District seat until 2006, when he ran for the U.S. Senate, rather than re-election. When asked if he would consider re-upping, he said, that his prioritty was making sure the seat stays in Republican hands and advised "do not hold your breath" waiting for him to announce a run.
Staff writers Jennifer Brooks and Paul Levy contributed to this post.