WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan has announced that he will not be running for governor in 2018.
Nolan made the announcement via his Facebook page Friday afternoon.
“After much thought and consideration with my wife Mary, friends, and family, I have decided not to run for governor of Minnesota. The challenges and consequences of the issues facing our Nation in Washington are too important for me to walk away from at this time,” Nolan wrote.
“Moreover, while I’ve received lots of encouragement to run for governor, both from within the 8th District and throughout the state, some of the strongest sentiments have come from constituents who want me to continue the successful work I’ve been able to do in Congress. My decision also reflects and recognizes the tremendous effort put forth by the thousands of people across the 8th District who have worked so diligently to give us hard-fought victories over the last three election cycles.”
Elected in 2012 after defeating Republican Chip Cravaack, Nolan has barely hung on to his seat in the eighth congressional district.
Nolan, who faced former Vice President of Mills Fleet Farm Stewart Mills in 2014 and 2016 won both times by less than 4,000 votes.
According to the Cook Political Report, Nolan’s district is considered competitive, but leans democrat. Though Nolan beat Mills by less than one point, President Donald Trump overwhelmingly won the district against his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.
Should Nolan have decided to run for governor, Democrats would have had a difficult time maintaining their edge in the district.
However, Nolan, who has expressed his willingness to work with Trump to bring jobs back to his district may find more breathing room during his run in 2018.
As reported by Alpha News, Nolan has faced criticism from fellow Democrats for asking the Trump administration to rethink mining regulations imposed on the Boundary Waters by former President Barack Obama.
“Denying any business activity before you know what it is – and what kind of pollution abatement technology they will use or how effective it will be – lacks common sense and subverts the good, thorough and elaborate environmental review process we have in place,” Nolan previously wrote.
Whoever runs for the toss up seat in the eighth congressional district on behalf of the Republican party, money from both parties is likely to pour into the district..