Stewart Mills said “hard data” told him to pass on finding out whether a third time would be the charm in his pursuit of succeeding Democrat Rick Nolan in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District.
Mills’ decision, spelled out in a Facebook posting Tuesday, puts the Republican right back where he was on Nov. 1, when he disclosed he would not seek to represent the district that stretches from the northern edges of the Twin Cities to the Canadian border.
However, when Nolan announced a few weeks ago that he would not run again for Congress, Mills said he was reconsidering the race.
On Tuesday, Mills said he chose to stay on the sidelines “based off of ‘hard data.’ I finished my review of that data and completed other due diligence [Monday] night and have decided not to run. I owed it to my supporters to take this consideration very seriously; many of those supporters got behind me all the way back in 2013.”
Mills’ explanation on Facebook did not elaborate on what data specifically he reviewed.
Nolan announced on Feb. 9 to the surprise of many that he would not run again after initially deciding last year to do so. The largely rural district includes Duluth and the Arrowhead, the Iron Range and Brainerd Lakes area and stretches down to exurban north metro counties.
It has traditionally backed DFLers, but President Donald Trump carried the district by 16 percentage points in 2016 and is a high priority for both parties.