National Republicans had a two-year rental of Minnesota's northern Eighth Congressional district and now they want to renew the lease.

To push a bit of earnest money behind that quest, the National Republican Congressional Committee plans to spend about $24,000 on a new August recess ad targeting Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan. The ad, released to the Star Tribune, will appear on broadcast television in the Duluth television market, said NRCC Spokeswoman Alleigh Marré.

The ad is the latest sign the GOP thinks the 2010 victory of Republican Chip Cravaack in northern Minnesota was not a fluke and their desire to put Democrats on the defensive this August.

Cravaack, who beat long-time Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, held the seat for just one term. Nolan ousted him last year, winning 54 percent to Cravaack's 45 percent. But Republicans think they have an opening in the traditionally DFL district with Stewart Mills, a scion of the Mills Fleet Farm company, and nationally handicappers see the district as potentially in play.

So the National Republican Congressional Committee is pushing on Nolan hard with a paid ad accusing the him of not caring about veterans because he was one of just four members who voted against a veterans affairs bill in the House.

"They served their country with honor. Some paid a dreadful price. But Congressman Rick Nolan let them down," the ad intones.

"One of just four in Congress to vote against the veterans' bill," it says of Nolan's vote on HR 2216.

Nolan communications director Steve Johnson says that Nolan is totally committed to supporting veterans and defended the Democrat's vote against the bill.

"The simple truth is HR 2216 was not good enough for our vets. The final bill put forward by the Republican majority woefully and shamefully underfunds job training, medical care, housing and other programs our vets need and deserve – while shoveling tens of billions of dollars into unnecessary programs," said Johnson.

Veterans issues may have purchase in the northern congressional district. According to a 2010 calculation the district was home to more than 60,000 veterans -- more than any other district in the state.

See the ad here: