The campaign generating most of the attention in New York City right now is, unsurprisingly, the 2012 presidential election. But at least one Manhattan real estate broker is far more focused on a congressional race in Minnesota.
Core broker Michael Graves is the son of Jim Graves, the hotel executive attempting to oust Tea Party spokesperson Michele Bachmann from her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The elder Graves, a St. Cloud native, is the founder of the Graves Hospitality Corporation, a boutique hotel company. He was a full-time developer and hotelier until this year, when he decided to run for office for the first time to challenge Bachmann. An outspoken conservative, Bachmann has held the congressional seat since 2007 and is notorious for her controversial comments, including labeling Disney’s Broadway musical “The Lion King” gay propaganda.
“Michele Bachmann is probably one of the most divisive figures in U.S. politics today, and, we think, one of the most dangerous because of her McCarthy-like antics and her extremely radical ideology,” Michael told The Real Deal. “[My father] was called to action … to run against Michele. She has a well-funded campaign. She’s not easy to overtake. It requires someone who has a very successful background and has some name recognition in the state and in the district.”
Michael, for his part, serves on the board of his father’s campaign committee and has been hosting events in New York City to raise funds for the effort. He’s even planning on hosting a few events in his current listings, which include a $5.5 million spread at 72 Reade Street and a $6.75 million apartment at 17 West 17th Street.
And some of Graves’s New York City–based clients have donated to his father’s campaign, even though they’re not registered to vote in Minnesota.
“A lot of my clients are actively involved in politics, and would love to see my father win,” said Michael, who will fly to Minnesota with his wife and their twin boys for election night. “Some have even gone as far as to work for the campaign. They recognize the national importance of this race.”