Vice President Mike Pence to visit Duluth as White House steps up 8th District support

He'll stump for 8th District GOP candidate Pete Stauber.
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In June it was President Donald Trump, next week it will be Vice President Mike Pence paying a visit to Duluth.

Minnesota's 8th Congressional District has been identified as one of the Republican Party's major pickup opportunities in this November's mid-terms, something the White House is acutely aware of.

In a series of elections where heavy Democratic wins are predicted, the Minnesota GOP think the retirement of long-serving DFL incumbent Rick Nolan has thrown the race in the Northland wide open.

It's now considered a "toss-up" by The Cook Political Report, and while Democratic hopefuls will go through a primary this month to determine who will run, the Republican Party has already identified Pete Stauber as the man they hope will turn the district red.

He still faces a challenge in the Aug. 14 primary, from anti-Trump candidate Harry Welty (who you might know for the snow sculptures he creates every winter), but Stauber is the heavy favorite and enjoys the full support of the current GOP party.

The Duluth native is a former pro-hockey player (with the Detroit Red Wings organization) turned police officer, and was invited onto the stage by President Trump during his visit to Minnesota on June 20.

On Wednesday, he'll welcome Pence to town, where the VP will join him at a private fundraising event. There's no indication at this stage whether Pence will appear publicly.

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Of Pence, Stauber said in a press release: "He not only understands our Midwestern values, he lives them every day.

"I am pleased he and the president are doing all they can to unleash the economic engine in northern Minnesota, and I look forward to welcoming the Vice President here next week."

On the DFL side, Soren Christian Sorensen, Kirsten Hagen Kenedy, Michelle Lee, Jason Metsa and Joe Radinovich are fighting for the Democratic nomination, with the Duluth News Tribune on Tuesday endorsing Radinovich.

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