Pioneer Press: Bachmann, Clark in first-time toe-to-toe

Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and Democratic challenger Tarryl Clark will share the stage for the first time today in St. Cloud in the race to see who will represent Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District.

That may seem odd with just a week to go until Election Day, but the limited contact between the two, as well as their bare-knuckle, nearly ubiquitous ad war, only serves to heighten the anticipation heading into today’s event, as well as two more debates to follow.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of the debates through the week,” Bachmann said Monday. “This election will be great because people will have the opportunity for a very clear choice. My opponent and I are very different in how we view the issues.”

Boy, are they.

Bachmann is a conservative superstar, a popular voice of opposition against Democratic leadership and someone positioning herself as a leader of the “tea party” movement. Clark, a state senator, has cast herself as a friend of the working class, someone who will gravitate toward meat-and-potatoes constituent work rather than the television lights.

“I think it’s really important to be reinforcing that congresswoman Bachmann clearly isn’t working for the district. Every objective outside group has said that. Her interests are elsewhere,” said Clark, who has racked up several newspaper endorsements.

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