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Report: President Trump taking special interest in Minnesota race

The 8th District is expected to be one of the tightest in the nation.

President Donald Trump has been in contact with Republican officials in northeast Minnesota ahead of the toss-up November election in the 8th Congressional District.

Rep. Rick Nolan's decision to retire has put the district in play in a year in which Republicans are otherwise expecting a tough time at the polls.

And Politico reports that, sensing a chance to flip the state, President Trump has been in touch with St. Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber, who is running for the GOP nomination for the district. 

Stauber told the website that Trump called on Mar. 16, saying he "wanted to offer up his support, and anything that he could do to help us win the election, he would do it."

Related:

– Trump plans to visit Minnesota before the mid-terms.

Trump has previously told Republicans at a fundraiser that he intended to pay at least one visit to Minnesota before November.

The Politico story goes on to describe how the dynamics of the 8th District make it a difficult place for Democrats to run this year.

Stauber is the only Republican candidate declared so far and has a significant fundraising advantage should someone join the race, Ballotpedia notes.

Five DFL candidates meanwhile will have to battle it out in a primary this summer, a time where criticizing each other could have implications for the one who wins when voters make their choices in November.

The winner will have to balance the anti-Trump, pro-environmentalist stance of their most fervent supporters in a district where, thanks to the Iron Range, it can pay to be pro-mining.

Rep. Nolan is among those to have praised Trump's decision to implement steep tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports, for example.

The DFL candidates running for the nomination are:

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