US Rep. Rick Nolan won't run for re-election in 8th District


"Minnesota's Eighth Congressional District is a Democratic seat, and that certainly will not change in 2018".

On Friday, he reversed course.

Nolan was first elected to Congress as the Representative of Minnesota's then-6th Congressional District in 1974, an office in which he served through 1981.

He retired in 1980 after three terms and returned to the private sector, only to come out of political retirement in 2012 to win back a congressional seat that Republicans took two years earlier when they knocked off another Iron Range Democrat, Jim Oberstar.

He won re-election in 2016 by less than 1 point, while President Trump won the district by almost 16 points.

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Republican Stewart Mills, who has run against Nolan before, said he's considering running again. The GOP left us "flat footed and unable to mount a commensurate campaign", Mills wrote on Facebook.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is well aware of this and is already prepping its candidate, Pete Stauber, a St. Louis County commissioner and a police officer.

Minnesota Public Radio News reporter Brian Bakst tweeted out Nolan's full statement and noted the 8th is one of the "most targeted districts" in the country.

During a phone interview, Nolan expressed confidence in the Democrats' chances in the district, despite the lack of a clear candidate to succeed him from his own party.

Nolan was slated to face Leah Phifer, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation analyst from Two Harbors, in the Democratic primary.

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Also, following Al Franken's resignation, appointed senator Tina Smith (D) must face voters to secure the remaining years of Franken's term.

And Republican Reps. Jason Lewis and Erik Paulsen are expected to have competitive re-election bids, as they try to defend the kind of suburban districts where Trump's support in polls has been dropping.

Outside political groups spent almost $30 million on the race in 2014 and 2016, making it among the most expensive districts in the country.

"There's going to be a lot of resources flowing in from both sides ..."

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