BRAINERD, Minn.- Stewart Mills III, a former candidate for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, has announced he has no intention of running for the seat again.
Mills had run for the seat twice before, in the 2016 general election and the 2014 midterm election. Both times, Mills was beaten by current Congressman Rick Nolan (D).
Mills expressed a belief of betrayal on the part of the National Republican Congressional Committee, who pulled funding for Mills campaign two weeks prior to election day in 2016.
Mills called the move inexcusable, stating in an interview to the Pioneer Press, “The NRCC succeeded in doing something the Democrats were unable to do, leave us flat footed and unable to mount a commensurate campaign.”
Mills leaving the field leaves the door open for many other candidates. One such candidate is Pete Stauber who launched his campaign in July 2017. Stauber is a former NHL player, police commissioner, union leader, and city councilman of Hermantown. He’s also served as a County Commissioner of St. Louis County.
Stauber was recently able to out fundraise Nolan in the 3rd quarter, raising close to $136,000 to Nolan’s $121,000.
Stauber seems to be running on increasing mining in Northern Minnesota, and has made several press releases praising the recent legislation authored by Tom Emmer (CD-6), and co-sponsored by Republican Jason Lewis (CD-2) and Democrat Collin Petersen (CD-7).
“It’s gratifying to see the important MINER Act being supported by Republican and Democratic leaders in Minnesota,” Stauber said.
Before Mills left the race, he painted Stauber as a political amateur saying doubting his ability to beat Nolan.
“Pete Stauber, as great a guy as he is, is he going to be able to come over to Nolan’s backyard and be able to have the same number of votes in the Republican column,” Mills said in an interview with the Duluth Tribune, “will it be 2012 all over again, where that vote was muted in the Republican area because of Nolan’s personal popularity?”
Time will tell.