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Veteran Congressman Oberstar attracts five GOP challengers

Democratic Rep.

Democratic Rep. James Oberstar, the transportation czar in the House who’s been representing the 8th District in northeastern Minnesota since 1975, has five Republican challengers looking for a long-shot upset in November.

Blogger Aaron Brown says this shows some aggressiveness on the part of GOP leaders in a district that they’ve all but conceded in the past:

I knew that 2008 nominee Michael Cummins from Isanti and Justin Eichorn of Grand Rapids were running, both are businesspeople, but the other three were news to me. The rest of the field includes Hibbing special education teacher Rob Farnsworth, Duluth airline pilot Chip Cravaack, and Chisago City business owner Darrel Trulson. WDIO has excerpts from a recent debate. All would constitute political outsiders and a little research shows that some of them have interesting profiles. This demonstrates more enthusiasm from GOP party regulars than has been seen recently when party bosses tried and failed to get plausible candidates to run at the last minute.

Still, the odds aren’t good, he says:

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Nevertheless, the electoral math of the 8th CD remains largely the same, regardless of the national mood. Oberstar, a pro-life, pro-gun labor Democrat, has enjoyed wide victory margins in his stunning 36-year tenure. If you think this year’s GOP field is large, wait until you see the size of both DFL and Republican fields if and when Oberstar retires (a prospect that remains planted firmly on a distant, unknown horizon).