Rick Nolan’s retirement has taken everyone by surprise. According to GOMN, “Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District Rep. Rick Nolan has announced he will retire at the end of his term this year. The shock announcement was made Friday morning, with Nolan revealing in a press release his intention to see out the remainder of his term before stepping down. His district is one of the most closely-contested in the nation and will be a huge target for Republicans in the November mid-terms.”

The DFL will have a difficult time defending their majority in the Minnesota delegation. They’re already in trouble in southern Minnesota after Tim Walz decided to not run for re-election in MN-01 after winning by only 1.5 points in 2016. If Republicans win both seats, which is a distinct possibility, that’d put a serious hurt on Democrats recapturing the U.S. House.

Brian McClung has it right:

Here’s Nolan’s full statement:

To the great people of Minnesota’s 8th District

With deep appreciation and thanks for allowing me to represent you in the Congress of the United States, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for reelection, and will retire at the end of the current term.
The gratitude and affection I have for all of you here in Northern Minnesota is beyond my ability to express in words. Make no mistake – I love my work representing you in the Congress, and the decision to leave is agonizing to say the least – especially when thinking of all the many volunteers, contributors, party leaders, colleagues, supporters – and of course the voters – who have all meant so much to our success.

The fact is, I have spent 16 productive and exciting years in elective office, and far longer working behind the scenes in business, labor, community service, and the public policy arena. Good politics is about making a positive difference in people’s lives, and together with all of you and a brilliant dedicated staff, we’ve made a real difference for the 8th District of Minnesota and our great Nation. Jobs are coming back. Wages are going up. The Iron Range and the 8th District are on the economic rebound, and our best days are still ahead.

Having said that, there is a time and a purpose for everything and now is the time for me to pass the baton to the next generation.

To be sure, I’m really going to miss representing the 8th District, but it is time for me to spend more time with my wonderful wife, Mary, our four fantastic adult children and their terrific spouses, and our 13 remarkable grandchildren. They have been incredibly patient and supportive. Now it’s time for me to respond in kind, and give them the attention they deserve and I want to give.

Despite the fact that our Nation is being challenged by some rather troubling politics, let’s remember that our Founders foresaw difficult times and gave us the tools to see them through. Our Constitution is strong, our people are resilient, and the elections of 2018, 2020 and beyond provide continuing opportunities for progress, reform and necessary change.

Hopefully the timing of this announcement in this still young election year will provide prospective candidates with ample opportunity to present themselves to voters and activists at the many party county conventions to be held over the next several months throughout our region.

Fortunately, we are blessed to have a number of highly qualified people who have demonstrated the ability to win tough elections and govern effectively. With hard work and a broad base of support, one of them will win the seat, and serve with distinction in the next Congress.

Meanwhile, rest assured, with the better part of a year left in office, I will continue working for the people of Minnesota’s 8th district and our entire Nation, energized and determined to finish strong.

History teaches us that there are no final victories in politics. There will always be powerful forces standing in the way of progress. So I will continue always to speak out for the common sense, progressive agenda I have spent a lifetime fighting for. But I will be doing so as a private citizen, privileged and grateful to be living here in the greatest Nation on earth.

Again, thank you so very much for choosing me to represent you.


UPDATE: This information might explain the motivation behind Nolan’s surprise retirement:

He said the main factor in his decision was a desire to spend more time with his family, mentioning his wife, children, and grandchildren, hockey games and school plays. (Nolan’s daughter, Katherine, is currently receiving treatment for lung cancer.) “It’s time for me to go home and spend more time with them,” he said. “It’s been coming for a long time. I got back into the front line of politics to see what I could do to help with getting things turned around in the district and in the country… There’s just a time and a season for everything.”

Update II: This information should get everyone’s attention:

If Stewart Mills gets into this race, that’s a race-changer.

One Response to “Rick Nolan’s (surprise) retirement + Update + Stewart Mills considering”

  • Gretchen Leisen says:

    I have been a supporter of Stuart Mills in the past 2 elections. I do have reservations this year, however, as I have been reading many articles about Pete Stauber, and what a great candidate he is for this district.

    Having a contested nomination can be a good thing IF [and that is a big IF] the candidates do not bash each other and allow the Democrats to appear to be the good guy/gal in the fray. I will be watching this thing closely.

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