Michelle Bachmann rode the Tea Party wave of 2009 to national prominence, both as a Congresswoman and a 2012 Republican presidential primary candidate. Bachmann first was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007, representing the 6th congressional district of Minnesota and becoming the state’s first Republican congresswoman. Prior to that, she was a member of Minnesota’s state senate and a federal tax litigation attorney.
In 2010, Bachmann founded the Tea Party Caucus. Later that year, the Republican Party, fueled in part by the Tea Party movement, gained 63 seats in the House of Representatives and six seats in the Senate, regaining the House and narrowing the gap in the Senate. In June 2011, Bachmann announced that she was running for the Republican nomination for president.
In August 2011, she became the first woman ever to win the Ames Straw Poll, though the momentum from that win didn’t translate to the primaries. She finished sixth in the Iowa caucuses in January 2012 and suspended her campaign soon after. Still, Bachmann remains a rising star in her party, and it would be too soon to count her out for 2016.