Rick Nolan opts against run for governor

Rep. Rick Nolan speaks with Vice President Joe Biden on stage at Hibbing Community College in 2014. (PHOTO: Aaron J. Brown)

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN8) announced today he would not seek the DFL nomination for Minnesota governor. He will instead focus on his work in Congress and another run in his swing district.

“After much thought and consideration with my wife Mary, friends, and family, I have decided not to run for governor of Minnesota,” said Nolan in a press release. “The challenges and consequences of the issues facing our Nation in Washington are too important for me to walk away from at this time.”

Nolan appeared to have seriously considered a run for governor, surprising many by appearing with other announced candidates at DFL events around the state. In recent weeks, I felt as though he would run for governor.

Rick Nolan reconsiders

“Moreover, while I’ve received lots of encouragement to run for governor, both from within the 8th District and throughout the state, some of the strongest sentiments have come from constituents who want me to continue the successful work I’ve been able to do in Congress,” said Nolan. “My decision also reflects and recognizes the tremendous effort put forth by the thousands of people across the 8th District who have worked so diligently to give us hard-fought victories over the last three election cycles.

“America is at a tipping point,” he continued, “and I feel compelled to devote all of my energy and experience to moving our Nation forward – and to stopping powerful elements determined to roll back a century of American progress that has doubled life expectancy and created the greatest middle class the world has ever known. These destructive forces cannot be allowed to succeed.”

Nolan now enters a 2018 re-election campaign with a Republican opponent yet to be named. Stewart Mills ran against him twice and lost. Mills has yet to announce his intentions, though political observers speculate he might not run if Nolan sought re-election. Without Mills, the GOP will be searching for a candidate.

He also leaves the the DFL governor’s race wide open for his Congressional colleague U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN1). Other candidates include St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, State Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul), State Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester), and State Auditor Rebecca Otto from the Stillwater area. Attorney General Lori Swanson is also rumored to be considering a run. I wrote about the race this spring.



  1. David Gray says

    I think once Walz announced this was the highly likely result.

  2. The Right Moose says

    Walz has this nomination in the bag and Nolan got the right polling data. Too bad too, too sad for Cook County’s own Little Hillary, Sue Hakes. tee-hee-hee.

  3. Gerald S says

    Rumor had it that Kurt Daudt was considering a run at CD8, which would be an interesting contest. He was supposedly being pushed by the national GOP toward a congressional run, part of a national strategy to insure continued control of the House. However, he told the Pioneer Press in May that he was not interested in the House, but still considering the governorship, and that rumors to the contrary were being spread by other GOPers interested in the governorship. The GOP field for governor is a heavy traffic jam just now, but they are looking for someone for CD8, so perhaps this may come up again.

  4. Tim Walz is a force to be reckoned with. He brings rural acumen and the,energy, vision and knowledge to know Minnesota and how it must move to the future. He is a teacher, coach and legislator. What better background to successfully guide MN to achieve more

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