Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) announced on Friday that he will not seek re-election in 2018, leaving his swing district in Minnesota up for grabs.
“Now is the time for me to pass the baton to the next generation,” Nolan said in a statement.
In a letter announcing his retirement, Nolan said that he planned to finish his term in Congress “strong.”
“Despite the fact that our nation is being challenged by some rather troubling politics, let’s remember that our founders foresaw difficult times and gave us the tools to see them through,” Nolan wrote in the letter obtained by the Star Tribune. “Our Constitution is strong, our people are resilient, and the elections of 2018, 2020 and beyond provide continuing opportunities for progress, reform and necessary change.”
Nolan’s decision came as a bit of a surprise given his announcement in June that he would not run for governor because he felt pressure to hold onto his congressional seat. The district is historically Democratic, but it is slowly becoming more Republican leaning, as Kyle Kondik, an elections expert at the University of Virginia, explained.
I will say, MN-8 probably easier to hold as an open seat for Ds in 2018 than in 2020 w/ Trump on the ballot. May be just a matter of time — months or years — before this ancestrally D area flips down ballot though https://t.co/q67xTUIQY0
— Kyle Kondik (@kkondik) February 9, 2018