New York Times highlights Nolan, incoming House members

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep.-elect Rick Nolan provided the New York Times with the folksy anecdote it needed for today’s piece on the make-up of the 2013 class of freshman House lawmakers.

Nolan is one of nine former lawmakers voters sent back to the U.S. House in November. His experience — he served three terms in the 1970s and ’80s — was the backbone of his campaign to defeat 8th District Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack, which he did by nine points.

Here’s the Times:

As a fund-raiser for a local college scholarship program, Rick Nolan understands how much it costs to send children in northern Minnesota to technical school. Having run a sawmill, he can speak like a logger.

“I know what you can get for 1,000 board feet of lumber,” he said recently. “I know what you have to pay for stumpage.”

But there is another piece of Mr. Nolan’s biography that until recently few voters wanted to hear about, and that few politicians would dare own up to: the three terms he spent in Congress 30 years ago.

In fact, his success in Washington became one of his most marketable traits when he decided to make another run for office this year. “It’s time to get something done,” Mr. Nolan declared in one of his ads.

The story is worth a read. It looks at the high turnover the House has seen over the last two election cycles and gives mini-profiles of a few congressional veterans and rookies heading to Washington when the new Congress convenes in January.

Devin Henry can be reached at

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