After a monthslong dalliance with a run for governor in 2018, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., announced Friday he will instead run for re-election in the Eighth Congressional District.
Nolan, 73, has won two tough re-election victories in his northeastern Minnesota district since his election in 2012.
“The challenges and consequences facing our nation in Washington are too important for me to walk away from at this time,” Nolan said on his Facebook page.
Nolan, who also served in Congress in the 1970s, would have joined a crowded DFL field for governor that includes U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, state Reps. Erin Murphy and Tina Liebling, and State Auditor Rebecca Otto, as well as several others who are considering a run.
The DFL is already heavily focused on the 2018 governor’s race because losing would likely mean full Republican control of state government for the first time in half a century.
But Nolan has a chance to help Democrats hold onto an evenly split district in what is expected to be a highly competitive year for control of the U.S. House of Representatives. President Donald Trump won the Eighth District by a sizable margin last year, giving Republicans hope of picking up the congressional seat, too.