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Businessman Stewart Mills announces 8th District challenge to Nolan

WASHINGTON — Rick Nolan picks up his first challenger, Mills Fleet Farm executive Stewart Mills.

Mills waded into the congressional gun control fight over the winter, releasing an "open letter" video directed toward Nolan and Minnesota's senators opposing new gun restrictions.

WASHINGTON — Mills Fleet Farm executive Stewart Mills formally announced his challenge to Democratic 8th District Rep. Rick Nolan on Wednesday.

“I look forward to earning support from voters like you who share my frustration with the lack of progress in Washington,” Mills said in a statement on his campaign website. “Together we can work toward growing our economy, building up our middle class families and securing the freedom of our nation.”

Mills waded into the congressional gun control fight over the winter, releasing an “open letter” video directed toward Nolan and Minnesota’s senators opposing new gun restrictions. He’s been considering a run against Nolan for some time, and he’ll take his campaign on the road on Wednesday, touring London Rentals in Duluth and discussing job creation at a Fleet Farm construction site in Cambridge. 

Nolan defeated Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack by 9 points in 2012, and, to this point, most political prognosticators have considered him a heavy favorite to hold the seat next year. A spokesman told the Star Tribune, “Congressman Nolan welcomes anyone to the race who is willing to run for public office, but his sole focus will continue to be on governing and doing the job he was elected to do — not campaigning. There’s more than enough full-time campaigning going on these days.”

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Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.