ST. PAUL — Former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said she does not feel God has called her to run for U.S. Senate, so is staying out of the race.
Bachmann told a Minnesota radio host during the weekend that she asked God for guidance. "I just took it to the Lord in a very quiet way."
But, she said, God did not tell her to run.
"I tried to have my ears open and hear what God was saying to me, and I considered it for quite a long time," the 2012 Republican presidential candidate told Jan Markell. "It became very clear to me that I wasn't hearing any call from God to do this."
Before every other run for office, she said, "I have always prayed." In those cases, she added, "I had this inner sense that I was supposed to do it," but not this time. She said that she is fine with not running.
In late December, she told a television host that many people urged her to run for the seat vacated by Al Franken, now held by Democrat Tina Smith, who faces election this November.
Bachmann said then that God had called her to the presidential campaign, but "am I being called to do this now? I don't know."
Bachmann served in the U.S. House from a district generally north of the Twin Cities for eight years beginning in 2007. Even after she dropped out of the presidential race early in 2012, she remained popular with Christian conservatives.
Smith was Gov. Mark Dayton's lieutenant governor before he appointed her to replace Franken in the Senate.
Bachmann's decision to not run leaves one Republicans in the race, state Sen. Karin Housley of St. Mary's Point.
Smith has a Democratic challenger, Minneapolis attorney Nick Leonard.