Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) announced Friday that he will retire from Congress at the end of his term, putting yet another Democratic congressional seat in Minnesota into play in the 2018 midterm elections, Politico notes.
Nolan's retirement forces Democrats to defend a seat in a district President Trump won in 2016 with 54 percent of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 39 percent. Nolan, meanwhile, squeaked out a victory that year by only a little more than 2,000 votes.
The loss of Nolan comes after former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) was forced to resign late last year in relation to accusations of sexual assault. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) tapped Tina Smith to take Franken's place in the Senate, but Smith will be forced to defend her seat too in a special election in November. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), meanwhile, will also be on the ballot, while Rep. Tim Walz's (D-Minn.) decision to run for governor puts at risk a Democratic seat in Minnesota's competitive first congressional district.
Clinton won Minnesota overall by just 1.5 percentage points in 2016 — hardly a confidence boost for Democrats. Still, Nolan struck an optimistic note in the statement announcing his resignation, saying that his district had "a number of highly qualified people" and predicting that "with hard work and broad base of support, one of them … will serve with distinction in the next Congress." Nolan served two non-consecutive terms in the House of Representatives, the first from 1975-1981 and the second beginning in 2013.
Read his full statement below. Kelly O'Meara Morales
To the great people of Minnesota's 8th District: I am announcing today that I will not seek re-election.
The gratitude and affection I have for all of you here in Northern Minnesota is beyond my ability to express in words.
You can read my full statement below. pic.twitter.com/C2ef1u3P8l
— US Rep. Rick Nolan (@USRepRickNolan) February 9, 2018