Bachmann is in the race

Kyle Potter

As she stood on stage with fellow Republicans eyeing the Oval Office, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann announced Monday night she is officially seeking the presidency in the 2012 election.

Bachmann put to rest months of speculation when she made the announcement early in CNN’s debate that featured six other GOP hopefuls.

“I filed today my paperwork to seek the office of the presidency of the United States … and I’ll very soon be making my formal announcement,” Bachmann said.

The debate was held in New Hampshire, the first state to hold primaries and a crucial state for presidential candidates to test their legitimacy.

Bachmann was the only participant Monday night who had not formally entered the race. Other Republicans on stage included Minnesotan and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, businessman Herman Cain and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Bachmann, who had previously indicated she would make an official announcement in Iowa sometime this month, is currently serving her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives.