Cravaack, Nolan Prepare to Sway Voters for 8th District Race

By KBJR News 1

August 15, 2012 Updated Aug 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - One day after the primary election, the DFL party rallied behind Rick Nolan as the 8th District incumbent Republican Chip Cravaack held a gathering of his own.

At Duluth's Labor Temple, it was all hands on deck uniting supporters behind the elected DFL candidate Rick Nolan.

"Return this 8th district seat to democratic hands and we defeat Chip Cravaack," said DFL Chair Ken Martin.

Candidates who ran against Nolan only hours before, voiced their support.

"We can take back this 8th congressional district seat with Democrat Rick Nolan," said announced Jeff Anderson, a former DFL candidate for the 8th District.

Nolan pointed out sharp differences between him and Representative Cravaack.

"Much of it is embodied in the Paul Ryan budget plan that Congressman Cravaack voted for again and again. Basically that budget plan calls for eliminating Medicare as we know it," said Nolan

Nolan says he believes it will be a civil debate on the issues between them.

"I'm not sure what all these PAC groups will do," warned Nolan.

It's a race that many analysts say is expected to be watched very closely by both parties and a lot of money spent on the candidates.

"Well it's a little daunting," said Nolan.

Unlike Nolan, Cravaack did not have to pay for a primary.

"I'm excited. We've been letting the DFL go through the process that they needed to get through. Now we have Representative Nolan is going to be their champion, and I'm looking forward to engaging him on the issues, 'cause there's a lot of issues out there," said Cravaack.

He responded to DFL accusations that he's done nothing for the Northland.

"Our team has been laser focused on mining and mining proposals.. If you take a look at my voting record. My voting record has been 8th District specific," said Cravaack.

As for now, the next step for the candidates is to raise money in a district that some believe is changing politically.

"Right now we have a different generation," said Cravaack.

It's a generation both candidates will have to sway to win in November.

In the last 8th District race, Representative Chip Cravaack was the underdog when it came to financial backing, but despite that he was able to beat the long standing congressman Jim Oberstar.

Wednesday, many of those at the DFL rally acknowledged that although the 8th District is typically a DFL district, it doesn't mean the election is in the bag.

Some warned it was that kind of thinking that caused Oberstar to lose his seat to Cravaack in the first place.

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