This post has been modified to correct the number of people receiving the letter. It is more than 1,000, not more than 7,000.
A letter imploring more than 1,000 DFL activists to get behind an effort to draft Rep. Rick Nolan to run for governor is going out this week.
The letter, signed by lawmakers, lobbyists and prominent DFL activists, makes the case that if the DFL doesn't change course, Minnesota could be on the precipice of what Nolan backers call a disaster -- that Minnesota would become like Gov. Scott Walker's Wisconsin.
The DFL lost the Senate for the next four years in the November election, and the House is viewed as safely Republican in 2018, which means the GOP could consolidate their hold on power in St. Paul by winning the governor's race.
Nolan,73, represents the Eighth Congressional District and has been re-elected in two hard fought campaigns since winning the seat in 2012. He also served three terms during the 1970s.
Nolan said in January he has been asked to run and is considering it.
The letter from the "Coalition to Draft Rick Nolan for Governor" is signed by more than 100 DFLers including Iron Range Reps. Jason Metsa and Rob Ecklund and Sen. David Tomassoni, as well as former Minneapolis Council President Jackie Cherryhomes.
The letter touts Nolan's ability to compete for rural votes, raise money and win close elections.
Environmentalists have already signaled they will take on Nolan over his support of copper nickel mining and other issues on which they find him to be insufficiently pro-environment.
State Auditor Rebecca Otto, Rep. Erin Murphy and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman have already declared their intentions to run. Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, Attorney General Lori Swanson and several others are often discussed as other potential DFL candidates.
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, Rep. Matt Dean and GOP Chair Keith Downey are some of the potential GOP candidates.