Rep. Rick Nolan won't run for governor, says he's needed in Congress

"The very survival of our democracy is at stake."
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A U.S. representative who was mulling a run at Minnesota governor says he's not going to be the one to replace Gov. Mark Dayton.

Rep. Rick Nolan had been among several Democrats considering a run in next year's gubernatorial election. But on Friday, Nolan announced he's needed elsewhere.

“The challenges and consequences of the issues facing our Nation in Washington are too important for me to walk away from at this time," Nolan said in a statement.

Nolan – who represents Minnesota's Eighth District in northeastern Minnesota – said he's taken a lot of time to think, and decided he's most needed in Congress right now.

“America is at a tipping point, and I feel compelled to devote all of my energy and experience to moving our Nation forward," Nolan said. He went on to explain how he needs to be in Washington to stop "powerful elements" determined to roll back progress.

"The very survival of our democracy is at stake," Nolan continued.

That's a very similar explanation to the one Sen. Amy Klobuchar gave last year when she announced she wouldn't run for governor.

Nolan on Trump

Nolan has been vocal about his disagreements with President Donald Trump and GOP decisions. So when Nolan said he needed to be in Congress to stop "powerful elements," he was likely referring to Republicans.

Most recently, Nolan called out Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement. He called it a "momentous setback for the United States and for all of humankind.”

In recent tweets, Nolan has also called Trump's budget "profoundly disturbing," and has criticized Republicans' healthcare plans.

But in January, Nolan applauded Trump for saying pipelines should be made with U.S. steel.

So who is running?

Well Dayton's not, Nolan's not, Klobuchar's not, and neither is Lt. Gov. Tina Smith.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek put an end to the speculation last week when he announced he'd seek a fourth term as sheriff instead. But there are still plenty of people up for Dayton's seat.

Several Republicans have announced plans to run, like Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson; Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman; and Rep. Matt Dean of Dellwood.

As for the Democrats, Rep. Tina Liebling of Rochester; U.S. Rep. Tim Walz of MankatoSt. Paul Mayor Chris ColemanRep. Erin Murphy of St. Paul; and state Auditor Rebecca Otto.

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