Clark, Nolan spar over negative ad in MN-8

I was prepared to say that the MN-8 DFL primary next week was shaping up to be less confrontational than one would have expected. That was before yesterday, when Tarryl Clark went up with a negative ad against perceived front-runner Rick Nolan. Clark attacks Nolan over his business background and involvement in the World Trade Center in the Twin Cities.

I was going to share the ad with you here, but I see the Clark campaign has not shared this online. It’s been running on local news for a day.

UPDATE: Here is the ad:

Nolan will hold a press event at his campaign headquarters in Duluth Thursday at 2 p.m. to respond to the charges in Clark’s ad.

Rick Nolan will address new false and misleading charges about the late Governor Perpich’s World Trade Center and his (Nolan’s) leadership role in that historic project.

The charges have been made by Tarryl Clark of St. Cloud in paid television ads being broadcast this week in the Duluth Media Market to promote her congressional ambitions.

Nolan, Clark and Jeff Anderson will compete in Tuesday’s DFL primary to take on freshman incumbent U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN8).

The Nolan-Clark squabble was perhaps inevitable as they are the perceived front-runners. Anderson, however, is seeking to capitalize on the negativity with a very compelling personal biographical ad he went up with today.

Nolan, of course, has been up on the air with his own ads along with others put out by the DFL on his behalf. Clark also has outside groups buying biographical ads on her behalf.

UPDATE: Still no video on the Clark attack ad. Seems like a tactical decision on her part. I still haven’t seen it, but it’s been described to me as an attack on Nolan’s time at the World Trade Center as as a big project that produced no jobs. That’s a debatable claim, as the project’s goals were to form connections between Minnesota and the global marketplace, something that did occur in subsequent years. Bear in mind, this all happened about 25 years ago.

Nolan responded today with the following statement:

(DULUTH MN)…Rick Nolan, DFL-endorsed candidate for Congress in the 8th district today offered the following statement:

“I am very disappointed that Tarryl Clark has decided to air these desperate, deceitful, and dishonest ads attacking my strong record on job creation. This is last minute, 11th-hour, gutter politics at it’s worst and is not worthy of the 8th District.

Tarryl moved into this district to run for office and her campaign is based on outside money attempting to buy this election. These desperate, negative campaign tactics simply show the true colors of an overly ambitious politician who will do anything to get elected.

Let me be clear, I am very proud of my time leading the Minnesota World Trade Center Corporation.

My friend, Governor Rudy Perpich, talked often about ‘job-jobs-jobs’ and we shared a vision for growing Minnesota’s economy globally. The Minnesota World Trade Center was a huge part of Perpich’s vision.

The idea for the Minnesota World Trade Center Corporation was to provide a home for Minnesota companies eager to expand abroad. Our late, great Governor Perpich asked me to help him create and build this critical project and I did so successfully, working as an unpaid volunteer and Chairman of the Board, spearheading Perpich’s project for the first four years of the process.

We secured over $60 million in private sector money just for the building of the facility, which created hundreds of good-paying, union construction jobs.

I am proud of the accomplishments we made to help expand the market for Minnesota manufacturers and small businesses. This project helped to put Minnesota on the map in a global economy.

Governor Perpich’s administration saw the creation of 328,000 jobs during his term of service, and the World Trade Center played an important role in creating those jobs. I am proud of that fact.

Let me be clear, for the record. Tarryl Clark’s ad is dishonest, untrue and simply not based on facts.

I have worked my entire adult life creating jobs in Minnesota, and will continue to do that as the next Congressman for the 8th District. The only job Tarryl Clark seems interested in creating is one for herself in Congress.”

It would appear the unprovoked attack on Nolan has opened the floodgates for counter-attacks on Clark. Hard to say how this affects turnout and the result on Tuesday, but I think all of this will have some kind of influence in such a fluid race.

UPDATE 2: MPR had Clark’s ad in a story about the race. I’ve included it in the post.


  1. Please fill us in on Nolan’s response, Aaron.

  2. Nolan’s rebuttal is pretty astute, I think. It allows DFL voters to conclude that Clark has smeared Rudy Perpich along with Nolan. If that’s by design on her part, it’s a big misstep. If it’s by accident, that’s no better as it only underlines the “desperate opportunist” and not-really-a-Ranger narratives at the same time.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.