Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Crosby/Duluth) became the 54th US Representative to not seek re-election in the coming special or regular election. Mr. Nolan announced he will not be running for a combined seventh term on Friday. He was originally elected in the 6th District all the way back in 1974, but chose to retire after six years in office. He would return to elective politics in 2012, winning the 8th District in unseating freshman Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack. Two years earlier, Mr. Cravaack had scored one of the biggest upsets in the country in ousting 18-term Rep. Jim Oberstar (D) to claim the Iron Range CD.
The impending 2018 campaign was already viewed as a toss-up because the last two contests between Rep. Nolan and businessman Stewart Mills (R) were decided by a percentage point or less. With Mr. Mills not in the 2018 race, Republicans were looking to St. Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber, a former professional hockey player. Now, however, both parties can expect crowded nomination competition for a seat that each party has a strong chance to win.
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