Rick Nolan 'in with both feet' for Eighth District race

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  • July 6, 2011 - 3:59 PM

Look for one more DFLer to get into the Eighth District congressional race next week.

Rick Nolan, who served three terms in the U.S. House more than 30 years ago, is readying a challenge to freshman GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack, DFL chair Ken Martin told Hot Dish Wednesday.

Nolan currently has a congressional “exploratory committee,” but he will wrap up that phase and will announce his decision next week, his spokesman Steve Johnson said.

Exploratory committee or not, Martin said that Nolan is already seeking support from party delegates and staffing up for a run. “He’s in with both feet and running hard,” Martin said.

Nolan would be the third declared DFL candidate in the 2012 race against Cravaack, the first Republican to win the Eighth District since 1947. Former state Sen. Tarryl Clark, who lost in the Sixth District to Rep. Michele Bachmann in 2010, and Jeff Anderson, a Duluth city councilor, are already the race.

Though he has been out of Congress since 1981, Nolan has hinted over the past couple of months that he was interested the Eighth District seat, and he has traveled to Washington to meet with Democratic officials about running.

Nolan, who lives outside of Brainerd, has already been endorsed by two DFLers who had considered running themselves: state Rep. Ryan Winkler and former state Rep. Tim Faust.

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