Newspaper article

Rep. Rick Nolan Will Retire

Newspaper article

Rep. Rick Nolan Will Retire

Article excerpt

Eighth District DFL Rep. Rick Nolan announced on Friday morning that he will retire at the end of his current term in Congress, ending a Washington political career that has spanned several decades — though with a long interruption — and making the already-competitive 8th District even more so, as Republicans look to pick up the increasingly red northeastern Minnesota seat.

In a call with MinnPost on Friday morning, Nolan, 74, said that retiring was one of the hardest decisions he’s had to make, but said it was time to “pass the baton” to the next generation of leaders in the district. He said the main factor in his decision was a desire to spend more time with his family, mentioning his wife, children, and grandchildren, hockey games and school plays. (Nolan’s daughter, Katherine, is currently receiving treatment for lung cancer.)

“It’s time for me to go home and spend more time with them,” he said. “It’s been coming for a long time. I got back into the front line of politics to see what I could do to help with getting things turned around in the district and in the country… There’s just a time and a season for everything.”

Nolan, who lives in Crosby, was first elected to Congress in 1974 as part of the class of young, reform-minded Democratic freshmen nicknamed “the Watergate Babies.” He served three terms representing what was then Minnesota’s 6th District before leaving to pursue work in the private sector.

Nolan returned to Congress in 2013, after winning a 2012 election against freshman Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack. Nolan went on two secure re-election twice, in 2014 and 2016, both times defeating retail heir Stewart Mills in what were some of the closest and most expensive U.S. House races in the country.

In 2016, Donald Trump won big in the 8th District, fueling simmering concerns in the DFL that their longtime northeastern Minnesota stronghold was slipping. Nolan was set to face another difficult re-election this year: Republicans were excited about the recruitment of Pete Stauber, a former Duluth police lieutenant, to run against him. …

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