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National Republicans put 8th district on the radar

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National Republicans are setting their sites on Minnesota's 8th Congressional seat.

The Star Tribune reports that Republicans have added Stewart Mills III to its lowest level of its "Young Guns" program. That is the program that lends support to GOP candidates.

Mills is challenging U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan in the northern Minnesota district. That district has seen its share of turnover in the last few elections. Nolan himself, beat single-term Republican Chip Cravaack, who knocked off long time Democratic Congressman Jim Oberstar in the district.

Mills, who officially announced his candidacy in late October, is one of 35 House hopefuls named to the "On the Radar" list. The newspaper reports that if Mills reaches the next step he would become a "Contender." The top level of the program is known as "Young Guns."

As the candidates ascend the ranks, they are more likely to receive financial and campaign aid from the NRCC. Mills already out raised Nolan by nearly $100,000 during the last fundraising quarter.

Early indications are that the race could be tight.

The NRCC hopes to help GOP prospects in next year's mid-term elections by making the Affordable Care Act their primary campaign issue. Last month the group aired radio ads criticizing Nolan for refusing to defund the health care law.

Just last week though, Nolan did break ranks with his Democratic counterparts as he was one of three Minnesota members of the House of Representatives to vote in favor of the Republican proposal to allow people to keep their current health insurance.

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