Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack has picked up endorsements from two public officials that formerly backed a Democratic candidate.

Ely Mayor Roger Skraba and St. Louis County Commissioner Mike Forsman are backing Cravaack rather than his DFL opponent, former congressman Rick Nolan, in the Eighth Congressional District race. Skraba and Forsman supported Jeff Anderson in the August DFL primary, but he finished third in the three-way race.

"Our campaign continues to pick up momentum as our bipartisan approach to job creation continues to resonate with Republicans, Democrats and Independents," Cravaack said in a statement.

Both Forsman and Skraba are from Ely, Anderson's hometown. Forsman is a DFLer; Skraba ran as an independent for a state House seat in 2002.

"Like many independent-minded northeastern Minnesotans, I always support the person, not the party," Skraba said in a statement.

The congressional race between Cravaack and Nolan is expected to be one of the most competitive in the nation. Seeking to gain an edge, liberal and conservative super PACS have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to run television ads in the Twin Cities and Duluth television markets

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