Nolan running again in 2016; no opponent yet

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN8)

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN8)

In a fiery speech at his annual barbecue fundraiser, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN8) announced he would seek another term in Congress in 2016.

Nolan represents Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District, a large region that includes Northeastern and Central Minnesota. MN-8 has been considered a swing district since 2010, when Rep. Jim Oberstar was surprisingly defeated after decades of solid Democratic dominance. Much of the political change, however, relates to the addition of conservative areas to the district as more Democratic areas lose population due to aging.

Zach Kayser of the Brainerd Dispatch covered the speech and fundraiser with an interesting recap of Nolan’s wide-ranging comments:

He opened by referencing the fact that a large portion of attendees were older people. Their generation had experienced a great deal of privilege, he said.

“It’s fair to say that there has probably never been a generation in the history of the world that had as much freedom, as much opportunity and as much success as the generation that is such a large part of this audience,” he said. “If you were going to be a failure in our generation, hell, you had to have a plan. If you showed up somewhere, went to work and did your best, you were going to be successful.”

That privilege was disappearing in subsequent generations, he said.

Brady Slater of the Duluth News Tribune also covered Nolan’s re-election announcement. Slater checked with Republicans to see who might challenge Nolan in the 2016 election. While it’s possible that 2014 nominee Stewart Mills might run again, no candidate has officially announced a campaign yet.

Said Gary Bergquist, chair of the Duluth Republicans:

“Since the 8th District is such a large geographic area there are lots of different people — a lot of state representatives in the area — we can look at bringing farther up the ladder,” he said. “It will be a few months before opposing candidates start putting out feelers for support staff.”

Midterm elections have proven to be more potent environments for Republicans in this district. Mills fell just short in 2014, but would face longer odds in a re-match during a Presidential year. Thus, Nolan starts the cycle in an advantageous position. Nevertheless, it feels that many have yet to “plug in” to the 2016 cycle, so most of the important attitudes and trends that will influence next year’s voting have yet to be determined.


  1. What killed off the generation where you had to have a plan to fail??? I’m sure it was the evil 1%ers … Couldn’t be anything to do with the DFL run policies of past 50 yrs. I see where he hit em with you were privileged, nothing like a politician to explain to older folks who busted their humps for yrs that it wasn’t you who built your life, it was privilege that did it. How do these clowns get elected?? Surprised he didn’t throw white privilege at them to offend them more…. Geeeez.

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