Draft Effort Has Minnesota Congressman Considering Gubernatorial Bid


Congressman Rick Nolan’s campaign’s political director said that the congressman is considering a run for governor of Minnesota in 2018.

The efforts to draft Nolan (DFL-MN8) as the DFL candidate to replace Governor Mark Dayton has picked up steam in recent weeks. Over 100 DFL activists have signed a letter urging the Congressman to run. The letter comes from the newly formed Coalition to Draft Rick Nolan for Governor.

“Right now he’s still in early consideration of it,” said Enid Swaggert, Nolan’s political director, “[The draft effort] is an independent effort. We don’t have any affiliation with it.”

The coalition’s effort is addressed to “DFL friends” and warns that if Republicans win the governor’s race in 2018 that Minnesota “will become like Wisconsin.” The letter also pushes Nolan’s endorsement of and ties to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the 2016 election cycle.

“Nolan has openly campaigned for a single-payer health care system in his last three races. He is a real progressive,” reads the coalition’s letter, “Rick Nolan will be the candidate in the race for Governor in the tradition of Bernie Sanders.”

Swaggert said that the idea of a possible Nolan gubernatorial run came from outside of their office.

I know that the Congressman has been getting calls and input from people across Minnesota’s 8th district,” she said, “He’s taking it under consideration.”

Former Nolan staffer and 8th Congressional District DFL Chair Justin Perpich chairs the Coalition to Draft Rick Nolan for Governor.

Rick Nolan can reassemble the rural, metro, farmer, labor, and progressive coalition that has made Minnesota a national leader in so many areas,” wrote Perpich in an email announcing the coalition’s formation,  “We are one step away from single party—The Republican Party—control of Minnesota.”

If Nolan were to run for governor he would be the fourth entry on the DFL side. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, State Auditor Rebecca Otto, and State Representative Erin Murphy (64A) have already announced their desire to replace Dayton.

Anders Koskinen