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Nolan gets Steelworkers union endorsement in 8th District race

Mining interests are crucial in the 8th, where both sides expect a tight race.

Rick Nolan got a key endorsement Wednesday from the United Steelworkers District 11 union in the 8th District Congressional race, where mining and natural resources issues can be key.

Earlier this year, Nolan’s opponent, Republican incumbent Chip Cravaack, received a different union endorsement, from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49.

United Steelworkers Union Representative Bob Ryan said this in a statement:

“We know that Rick Nolan will fight for mining jobs and to rebuild the middle class in Congress.  Rick supports our mining industry and knows how to get things done.  Rick has served in the Congress.  He is an effective leader who will put the working men and women of northern Minnesota first.  He is someone we can trust to fight for jobs and work to preserve pensions, health care benefits and Medicare.

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“Chip Cravaack has done nothing to better the lives of working families here on the Iron Range.  His opponent’s radical Tea Party agenda balances budgets on the backs of the middle class, while preserving tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.  Do not be fooled.  Chip Cravaack may be good at holding meetings and talking about mining jobs, but they are empty gestures.  After two years, he has proven time and time again to be an ineffective Congressman.”

Cravaack, of course, disagrees, and says he has many individual steel workers in his corner. And he said in a statement:

“My opponent is not pro-mining, nor does he understand mining jobs. Rather, he prefers more regulation and bigger government.”

Judging by the many fierce ads already running in the race, both sides expect it to be a close battle, following the 2010 upset by Cravaack of longtime Democratic Congressman Jim Oberstar.