Michele who? Bachmann challenger Reed to focus on issues

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Everyone has an opinion about Rep. Michele Bachmann — whether tinted by contempt or admiration. But Maureen Reed, the Grant physician who hopes to unseat Bachmann, doesn’t even mention the two-term incumbent in explaining why she’s running for the Sixth Congressional District seat. In fact, the closest she comes to referencing the Republican is in hinting at her flamboyant personality.

“The problems that people have are not being effectively addressed,” Reed told MnIndy this morning. “Personalities aside, public servants should be there to solve real people’s real problems.”

Reed will seek endorsements from both the Democratic-Farmer-Labor and Independence parties. Last year Elwyn Tinklenberg was backed by both major parties but still fell short of unseating Bachmann.

In 2006 Reed was the Independence Party’s candidate for Lt. Governor. Tinklenberg is expected to make another bid for the seat in 2010.

Reed says she called the former Blaine mayor to let him know that she also intended to challenge Bachmann. “It was a very cordial conversation,” she says. “I have great respect for him and the energy that he has put into the Sixth District.”

Reed says she hasn’t decided whether she’ll run in a primary election if someone else gets the DFL endorsement. “That is so far in the future,” she says. Right now her focus is on meeting potential voters and raising money, she adds.

Reed’s resume includes eight years on the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents. In addition she served as president of Aspen Medical Group and medical director at HealthPartners. Most recently she worked as the interim executive director of the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota.

Reed says the primary issues of concern to Sixth District residents are jobs, health-care and homes.

“I came to the conclusion that I just can’t stand by anymore, that this district and the residents of the Sixth District have some really big problems to solve,” she says. “They’re only solvable when people roll up their sleeves together and prioritize and concentrate on what is wrong.”

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