DFLer Lori Swanson announces run for governor – with Rick Nolan joining her

The DFL field is getting more crowded.
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Lori Swanson and Rick Nolan

After failing to get the DFL endorsement for state auditor on Saturday, Lori Swanson has announced she'll run for governor, and has coaxed Rick Nolan out of planned retirement to be her running mate.

The shock announcement makes for an intriguing showdown come the August primaries, as Swanson/Nolan takes on the DFL endorsed Erin Murphy/Erin Maye Quade and endorsement runners-up Tim Walz/Peggy Flanagan.

Just four months ago, the 74-year-old Nolan announced he would not seek re-election for the 8th Congressional District, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

He denied he intended to run for governor, but is now the running mate for Swanson, who announced on Monday that they'll be running as "Minnesota's Problem Solving Ticket," pointing at their track records as attorney general and Congressman, respectively.

The Swanson/Nolan team would represent a more moderate option for Democratic voters, with Swanson having shown at times that she was willing to join fellow Democratic AGs in national lawsuits against some of President Donald Trump's policies, but in 2010 was endorsed by the NRA for her Second Amendment views.

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She was attacked for this at the convention on Saturday by challenger Matt Pelikan, who ultimately got the endorsement after Swanson dropped out upon getting 52 percent of the votes in the first round – short of the 60 percent needed.

Nolan meanwhile had to straddle with right-leaning interests of the 8th District's mining communities with the more liberal populations in Duluth and along the North Shore.

Swanson recently negotiated an $890 million settlement with 3M over the contamination of groundwater in the eastern Twin Cities metro.

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