MN's 8th District Race: Meet Rick Nolan

By KBJR News 1

March 2, 2012 Updated Mar 2, 2012 at 11:18 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- As the 8th Congressional District race heats up it's full speed ahead for the DFL candidates looking to get their party's endorsement. Rick Nolan won the non–binding straw poll during the Minnesota caucus but it's still anyone's race.

LeAnn Wallace sat down with Nolan to talk about why he's running and what he feels he would bring to the table.

It's been more than 30 years since Rick Nolan campaigned for congressional office. Something he says he never thought he'd do again.

"But in my worst nightmares I never thought I would see the country in the shape and condition that it is in so I could not just stand by and watch what was happening."

Nolan served three terms in Congress, representing what was then Minnesota's sixth district, before calling it quits and heading home to Crow Wing County.

"After having spent the last 25 years back home here in the district in business and volunteer community service, quite frankly I feel better prepared today than I ever was then."

The current gridlocks and party battles in Washington are something Nolan has never seen before. Something he says has to stop.

"None of us have a license on the truth and so inevitably it has to result from a combination of good will and compromise."

As far as priorities go, the 8th district candidate says the middle class needs to be rebuilt, and infrastructure is a good place to start.

"While we've been busy in nation building around the world and often times in places we're not wanted and not welcomed, you know we've been crumbling from within I mean literally the bridges have been falling down."

The DFL will officially endorse a candidate in May. And if it's not Nolan, he says he'll step out of the race.

"I've said from the beginning I'm a candidate for the DFL endorsement and that I would abide by that and support whoever the endorsed candidate is. If there's a primary contest, it won't be my fault."

Until an endorsement is made, Nolan will continue to criss–cross the district, meeting with constituents and outlining his congressional priorities.

If Nolan is elected, he'll take his seniority with him, being considered a fourth term congressman rather than a freshman. Jeff Anderson and Tarryl Clark are also running under the DFL ticket.