Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously said Stewart Mills’ financial disclosure form reflected the value of Fleet Farm as a whole; his filing reflected only his share of the company. The article has been corrected.
Republican 8th District congressional candidate Stewart Mills’ portion of his family’s Fleet Farm business is worth between $41 million and $150 million, earning between $4 million and $12 million last year, according to a personal financial disclosure form filed by Mills last week [PDF].
Stewart Mills and his siblings are the third generation of Mills to operate the Fleet Farm retail chain, which was founded by Mills’ grandfather. The Fleet Farm chain and several businesses associated with it are listed as assets on the financial disclosure form required for all congressional candidates, which Mills filed with the U.S. House Clerk on August 20.
The financial disclosure forms give candidates a very broad range for listing the value of their assets, thus the wide difference between the minimum and maximum value of Mills’ stake in the company.
Mills himself earned just less than $570,000 in salary from Fleet Farm last year, according to the filing. He’s considered an executive, administrator or trustee for many individual Fleet Farm stores and the various operations associated with the chain, and lists liabilities between $7 million and $35 million, all tied up in the company.
Fleet Farm opened in 1955 and operates 32 retail locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and North Dakota, carrying a range of products, from outdoor gear to home improvement supplies and equipment.
“Stewart is an entrepreneur helping to lead a 90 year-old business headquartered in Brainerd that has been in his family for three generations,” Mills campaign coordinator Isaac Schultz said in a statement. “His aggressive reinvestment in his family’s businesses has created thousands of full and part time jobs right here in Minnesota. Stewart’s experience in the private sector is the reason he’s running for Congress.”
Mills announced his challenge to Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan in June. On his annual financial disclosure form [PDF] filed in May, Nolan listed a net worth between about $700,000 and $1.5 million, tied up in investment funds, a house in Nisswa, Minn., a condo in Florida and a sawmill and palette manufacturing company. He earned between $27,700 and $86,600 off those assets, mostly in interest and rent payments, and listed $36,879 in income from a state of Minnesota pension and a real estate and consulting firm.
Devin Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @dhenry