Reason for Seeking Public Office:
Why I Am Running To Represent the 6th District
by Jim Graves
My campaign is not merely about defeating Michele Bachmann; it is about providing a better future for the people of Minnesota's 6th Congressional District by dedicating myself full time as a business person with the know-how to create jobs.
I am a builder and a business owner. Over the course of my career, I have built dozens of hotels and created thousands of jobs by bringing people and communities together. My background is textbook middle America. I grew up on the north side of St. Cloud in a working class Catholic family as one of six kids. I worked my way through college at St. Cloud State University, got married to and then started a family with my high school sweetheart, Julie, and taught elementary school for two years. In 1979, I began a business out of a makeshift office in my basement and soon after founded the AmericInn chain. I went on to build over 100 businesses in the region and I attribute this success to the fact that I treat all my employees and customers with dignity and respect.
I want to replace Michele Bachmann because she is part of the inflexible extreme. Her freewheeling comments have made her a national media phenomenon, but they have not added one new job to the 6th District. What the people of the District need in Washington is someone who can get along with members of both parties so that the District is truly represented. Over the years I have worked with hundreds of communities, investors and banks, and never did I care nor ask whether they were Democrats or Republicans. It is time we come together and mount a unified response to our economic crisis.
Government has a role to play in society, but it should be limited to what citizens cannot do for themselves. I believe that the free market makes better decisions than politicians. I also believe government must balance its budget and my solution is to end the blame game and start working together. As you can see, I am in the unique position of being both pro-business and pro-government. We need to get jobs back in 6th District by allowing us to compete on a level playing field with China and Mexico. We need to close the tax loopholes that allow companies like Apple to earn billions of dollars by selling their product to us in America, while avoiding paying taxes in America. As a successful business owner, I understand accounting. I respect bottom lines, and I am qualified to bring the necessary fiscal accountability to Washington.
I'm a CEO and I want my employees to make a good living wage. I compromise with my union. Why? The driving principle for many of my core values is the Golden Rule. If I want to earn enough to raise a family, have good health care and pay for my children's education, the same must be true for my employees. The other fundamental value in my decisions is pragmatic business logic. As much as two-thirds of our economy is driven by consumer spending; therefore, the more money in the pockets of the middle class, the stronger our economy will be. What our struggling economy needs more than anything is increased aggregate demand for our local goods and services.
That's why in Congress I will create more jobs that pay a living wage. I will represent our district with dignity, integrity and hard work. I will fight to level the playing field so that every man, woman and child has an opportunity to reach his or her goals in life. That's what the pursuit of happiness is all about.
My fierce dedication to this most basic right, and the fact that it resonates with people regardless of their political persuasions, is why I am running to represent this district.
But I cannot do it alone. In order to defeat Michele Bachmann this November, I am going to need your support. Together we can restore responsible leadership in Washington and finally provide our community with the kind of representation it so desperately needs and deserves.