February 09, 2018 06:28 PM
Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan has announced he will not seek reelection this year, instead opting to retire at the end of his current term.
The announcement from the Representative for Minnesota's 8th Congressional District came in a statement released Friday morning.
"To be sure, I'm really going to miss representing the 8th District," read part of the statement. "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."
Nolan reiterated his decision when he spoke with a reporter as he arrived at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Friday afternoon.
"I knew the time was right," he said. "You know there's a time and a season for everything and I have a wonderful family and they've been so supportive of me over the years."
He also acknowledged wanting to spend more time with his daughter Katherine, who was diagnosed with stage 4 non-smoking lung cancer in 2015. He spends a lot of time raising awareness of the disease and raising money for cancer research.
"I would be remiss if I didn't say so, but it's more of a reminder of life in many respects and how fleeting and quickly it can be in passing," he said.
Nolan was first elected to Congress as the Representative of Minnesota's then-6th Congressional District in 1974, an office in which he served through 1981.
After a 32-year gap, he was then elected to Congress again in 2012 when he defeated first-term Republican incumbent Chip Cravaack in the race to represent the 8th District.
Nolan was reelected in 2014 and 2016.
He had announced on his Facebook page last summer that he had decided against mounting a bid for governor in 2018 and would seek reelection to Congress.
"History teaches us that there are no final victories in politics," read part of Nolan's statement. "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."
Republican Stewart Mills announced a couple months ago he would not run against Nolan again. However, now that Nolan is out, Mills is considering getting back in. He told KSTP that one of the factors he wants to study is why Donald Trump won the 8th District.
"I want to see whether that was a vote for a Republican or Donald Trump or just a vote against Hillary," Mills said in a phone interview.
Republican Pete Stauber, a St. Louis County Commissioner and former Duluth Police officer, is already in the race. Several Democrats are also now considering getting into the race.
Updated: February 09, 2018 06:28 PM
Created: February 09, 2018 09:34 AM
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