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MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Reuters) - Representative Michelle Bachmann said on Monday she has filed the paperwork to formally enter the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Bachmann announced the move during the first major debate of Republican presidential contenders, which was held in New Hampshire, which holds an important early contest on the road to the nomination.
"I filed today my paperwork to seek the presidency of the United States," she said in the early going of the encounter with six other presidential contenders.
Bachmann, a fiery conservative congresswoman from Minnesota, has earned a following with cable news shows and Tea Party activists with her outspoken condemnations of Democratic President Barack Obama and Washington insiders.
Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Will Dunham