On Friday, Congressman Rick Nolan announced he would be retiring at the end of his current term. This a surprise as his staff was just campaigning during Tuesday's Minnesota caucus.
Many potential candidates have come forward to fill the congressman's seat. Policial experts say it's expected that more may come forward in the following days.
Rick Nolan's staff was in full swing during Tuesday's caucus at DFL precincts.
Though there is much speculation as to why Nolan suddenly announced his retirement, Iron Range Political Blogger for Minnesota Brown, Aaron Brown says you can't help but wonder if the caucus results played a factor in his decision.
Brown says the results of the straw poll for Governor in the 8th district indicated stronger than expected support for Rebecca Otto, a candidate who opposes copper-nickel mining.
It's an issue that's dividing the Democratic party in the 8th district, which could make it harder for Nolan to get the 60 percent of votes he needs for the Democratic endorsement, as he's up against Democrat Leah Phifer and Independent Ray "Skip" Sandman who both oppose copper-nickel projects.
Brown says, "Nolan may have been looking at a difficult protracted convention, which might not have ended on the first ballot as he may have hoped. That's possible. There was really no way to know cause there was no official vote taken in the 8th congressional district."
He says Nolan's opponents had a strong following during the caucus. "There was a spirited group that backed Phifer that came out to be delegates for the next level in that they go to the county conventions, and they go to the district conventions. Certainly, that was a factor in the mix."
Brown says the news is so fresh that a lot of people just weren't ready and that usually when there is speculation about a retirement it comes much earlier in the cycle giving potential candidates time to produce shadow campaigns, ready to launch at any moment.