Politics

Minnesota’s Rick Nolan Draws GOP Challenger

Duluth Police lieutenant Pete Stauber is top GOP recruit

Republican Pete Stauber is announcing a challenge to Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan, above, for the competitive 8th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

St. Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber, a Republican, is announcing his candidacy for Minnesota’s 8th District on Monday. 

Currently represented by Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan, the 8th District has been among the most competitive and expensive House districts in the country for the last two cycles.

President Donald Trump carried the district by 16 points last fall, while Nolan barely won re-election against two-time challenger Stewart Mills, who hasn't ruled out a third run.

Stauber is a top GOP recruit for a rural district that Republicans are hoping to pick up. A former professional hockey player with the Detroit Red Wings operation, he is currently a lieutenant in the Duluth Police Department and has been with the force for 23 years. He has also served two terms as Hermantown City Councilor. 

Nolan hasn't explicitly announced he’s running for re-election next year. “Those are my intentions,” he told Roll Call last month after deciding not to pursue a gubernatorial bid. Nolan outperformed Hillary Clinton by nearly 12 points in the Iron Range district last fall.

Other potential DFL candidates have considering running. Former Cook County Commissioner and Grand Marais Mayor Susan Hakes had formed an exploratory committee while Nolan was publicly toying with running for governor. Counterterrorism expert Leah Phifer is still exploring a bid. 

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the 8th District Leans Democratic

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