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Week’s top stories on the Minnesota campaign trail – Oct. 16

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It’s a busy time for Minnesota politicians on the campaign trail, with less than three weeks to go before the Nov. 4 election. Here’s a quick look at what’s been happening.

VP, First Lady coming to Minnesota

Both the Vice President and First Lady of the United States will be coming to Minnesota to campaign for local Democrats.

Joe Biden will attend a rally for Rep. Rick Nolan in Hibbing Oct. 23, the Star Tribune reports. The rally, which is being held about a week before Election Day, will be at Hibbing Community College, according to Minnesota blogger Aaron Brown. No other details have been released at this time.

Nolan is being challenged by Republican Stewart Mills for his 8th Congressional District seat. It is one of the state's most contested races, being dubbed a "toss up" by nearly every political analyst out there.

The race has also garnered more than $2 million in outside money for advertisements, the Star Tribune notes. The two are about even in campaign fundraising, The Associated Press notes.

MPR News takes a look at the latest on campaign money for the upcoming election.

First Lady Michelle Obama will also be making a trip to Minnesota for a Grassroots "Get Out The Vote" event. She'll rally with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken on Oct. 21, the DFL Party announced this week.

On Friday, the party website announced it would take place in north Minneapolis at Patrick Henry High School at 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Ticket information can be found here.

Former President Bill Clinton was in Minnesota last week to attend a rally for the incumbent Democrats, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie campaigned for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson.


Ebola was a hot topic on the campaign trail Thursday.

Republican Senate candidate Mike McFadden criticized President Barack Obama for the way he handled the threat of the virus in the United States. The candidate, who is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Al Franken, said he supports a temporary travel ban for people entering the U.S. who have recently been to the West African countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak.

McFadden said the Ebola virus is what he's hearing more than any other concern on the campaign trail, the Star Tribune reports.

Last week, Franken, along with Dayton and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, asked for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to be added to the list of airports with enhanced Ebola screenings.

Get out the Vote Concert

Congressman Keith Ellison has announced the lineup for his fundraising concert.

Joining Ellison on the First Avenue stage Nov. 2 will be Sims, Heiruspecs, Toki Wright and Big Cats, Gabriel Douglas (The 4onthefloor), Guante and other special guests, according to his website.

Ellison did held a similar concert in 2012, City Pages says.

Proceeds from this year's event will benefit the Keith Ellison for Congress campaign. Tickets cost $10 and are on sale now.

Ellison, the incumbent Democrat, is running against Republican challenger Doug Daggett and Independent Party candidate Lee Bauer.

1st Congressional District debate

Congressman Tim Walz and Republican challenger Jim Hagedorn sparred in a debate Wednesday, emphatically opposing each other's viewpoints, the Rochester Post Bulletin says.

The candidates touched on several topics, including the federal health care law, immigration, social security, the current farm bill, and the government's role in people's lives, the Mankato Free Press says.

The candidates also address what they'd focus on, if elected.

Hagedorn also says he plans on focusing on bills that protect the American people from terrorism, disease and crime, because "we haven't done that," KEYC reports. Walz, the incumbent, plans for focus on foreign policy and the military, transportation and the energy bill he's currently part of.

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