Duluth, MN (Northland’s NewsCenter) --- Steelworkers, elected officials and community members joined DFL 8th District Congressional candidate Rick Nolan at the Georgia Pacific Plant on Monday to talk about a significant loss of manufacturing jobs in the Northland.
The long time hard wood products plant permanently closed its doors at the end of August, and nearly 150 men and women lost their jobs.
Steelworkers at the rally say they are still wondering why the plant is closed and say they are disappointed that Congressman Cravaack has done nothing they know of to fight for these jobs.
Georgia-Pacific is owned by Koch Industries, who has invested millions of dollars into Republican Super Pacs.
Nolan says Koch Industries PAC donated $2,500 dollars to Chip Cravaack's campaign in December.
When Georgia Pacific shut down, Nolan says Congressman Cravaack did not come to Duluth to support the 141 people who lost jobs.
“One could easily argue that the reason why Chip Cravaack is not here defending the workers and the closing of this Georgia Pacific Plant is because he is getting all kinds of money from the Koch Brothers who own this Georgia Pacific Plant," Nolan said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Congressman Cravaack's campaign, says it's no coincidence Nolan is speaking up now, saying it's because his campaign has become more desperate.
Cravaack's spokesperson says Monday’s news conference was held to score political points and point fingers but it won't put families back to work.
The 8th district congressional candidates will face off in a series of debates this month.
The first debate is scheduled for 8 on Tuesday morning at the Duluth Play House in Duluth.
The Northland’s NewsCenter will carry that debate live on MY 9 and re-run it Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. on MY9.
The next Cravaack-Nolan debate will be held on Oct. 14 and then the two get together again on Oct. 31.
"Debate Minnesota" a non-partisan political group will hold a debate at Mesabi Range Community College on the Virginia Campus.
That debate will be carried live on MY 9 at noon and the Northland’s NewsCenter will re-run it at 7 that evening.
Barbara Reyelts will be the moderator.