Skip to main content

Rep. Rick Nolan will run for another term

It's likely to be a challenge.

When you're a 73-year-old Democrat in an increasingly "red" district and you won your last election by a narrow margin, you might be tempted to consider hanging it up for good. 

But despite those considerations, Minnesota Congressman Rick Nolan is running for another term, he announced on Thursday. 

“It’ll be a tough race. It always is. But I’m up for it,” the longtime Democratic lawmaker tells the Pioneer Press.

And he's probably right about that – it will be tough, judging by the 2016 election, and the changing political makeup of the 8th District.

Nolan won the district (which covers northeastern Minnesota, including Duluth and much of the Iron Range) by just 2,009 votes in November. And as the Pioneer Press observes, voters there backed Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by a significant margin, flouting their history of supporting Democrats. 

“The district has shifted a lot,” Nolan admitted to the paper. 

So why bother running again?

One reason Nolan is running for a seventh term, according to the Brainerd Dispatch, is a "recent series of congressional town hall meetings" that "encouraged him to think" he can win in 2018. 

But in some ways, Nolan, arguably an old-school conservative Democrat, could be considered quite suited for such a complex district. 

For one, he's broken with his party in his backing of controversial mining projects, oil pipelines, and in his willingness to work with – and even praise – President Trump. 

And yet he's got solid Democratic credentials. 

As the Dispatch notes, Nolan sees solid support in his district for the types of causes he champions – including fighting "Republican-proposed budgets that slash things like health care, Great Lakes restoration and the Environmental Protection Agency."

And even though it's more than a year away, the election in the 8th is already shaping up. 

Republican Pete Stauber, a member of the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners, officially announced his candidacy last month, and there's still a possibility that Stewart Mills could run against Nolan for a third time. 

Next Up

Eli Hart

Charges: 6-year-old Eli Hart shot up to 9 times by his mother

The 28-year-old is facing 2nd-degree murder charges.

dave lee wcco radio

Former WCCO Radio host Dave Lee moves into podcasts

His new podcast, called 'My First Concert,' launched last week.

Tow Boat

Tow boat collides with Mississippi River lock and dam in Alma, WI

The crash remains under investigation by the United States Coast Guard.

unsplash school bus

Police: Man in minivan approached kids, claimed he was former principal

Investigators say children were approached by a man in a white minivan who falsely claimed he'd been a local school principal.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, May 23

The latest from the state health department.

police tape, crime scene

Police: 2 people shot, 1 fatally over the weekend in La Crosse

Officers arrived to the scene and found one person suffering multiple gunshot wounds.

Bear killed after it attacked couple in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin couple fight, kill bear that broke into their home

The incident happened last week in north-central Wisconsin.

Image from iOS (2)

Urban Outfitters store in Uptown to close

A number of national chains have departed Uptown in recent years.

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 6.41.22 AM

USS Minneapolis-St. Paul officially launched in Duluth ceremony

It's the first U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

North High principal Mauri Friestleben returning to finish year

The principal said Friday she had been fired from her role over her support of a student protest.

ambulance

One dead, two injured in wrong-way crash on Hwy. 169

The crash occurred on Highway 169 early Sunday morning.

minneapolis police

Man fatally shot overnight in north Minneapolis

The shooting was reported around 2:20 a.m.

Related

Rep. Rick Nolan to retire at the end of his term

The Democrat is the incumbent in one of the tightest districts in the nation.

A Republican not named Mills is running for Rick Nolan's seat in Congress

Another Nolan/Mills rematch is still possible – but there's a new wrinkle now.

Rep. Jean Wagenius

First elected in 1986, state Rep. Wagenius not seeking another term

The veteran lawmaker has announced her decision not to run again.