Updated: 06/07/2014 8:43 AM
Created: 06/06/2014 4:35 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
Duluth has become a political battleground this week for the 8th district congressional seat. Congressman Rick Nolan kicked off his re-election campaign in Duluth on Friday, and his competition is already hot on his trail.
A crowd of supporters rallied for Democrat Rick Nolan's campaign kickoff event at Leif Erickson Park Friday afternoon. Nolan started off the campaign with a shot the Republican contender Stewart Mills.
“He is, no mistake about it, a one percenter who is there to represent the 1 percent not the 99 percent,” Nolan said.
Mills is the vice president of Mills Fleet Farm Corporation, and he made a stop campaign stop in Duluth on Monday. He called out Nolan on unemployment in the 8th district.
“We have an 8 percent unemployment rate currently. Contrast that with a 4.5 percent unemployment rate statewide. We know we can do better,” Mills said.
However, Nolan touted law he's passed to create jobs in Duluth.
“One of them was of course the Cirrus small plan manufacturing legislation. It helped create a lot of good paying jobs and expanded an important, vital industry here in our region,” Nolan said.
Mills supports copper-nickel mining in the Northland, but said Democrats don't.
“The modern day DFL is at war with our way of life up here in our part of Minnesota. We understand, as Republicans, the need for responsible mining and timber industries, but also how to strengthen our main street economies,” Mills said.
Nolan said he supports projects like Polymet, and that project is environmentally sound.
“It offers a great hope for some really good-paying jobs over a couple hundred years on into the future. Good stuff; I'm fully supportive of it,” Nolan said.
However, the Green Party Challenger, Ray “Skip” Sandman, said no copper-nickel mining is safe.
“I'm not willing to gamble with the future generations' life and drinking water for a few hundred jobs so I definitely stand against that,” Sandman said.
He said solar and wind power industries can create alternative jobs at his campaign announcement on Friday.
The campaign and battle for the 8th congressional district will be fought over jobs, and the candidates have 5 months to win votes and get a paycheck of their own.
The Independence Party candidate for congress dropped out after the filing deadline so the secretary of state has extended the filing deadline for Independence Party candidates until June 10.
Widespread Tree, Building Damage from Overnight Storms
People are cleaning up after storms across the Northland damaged trees, flipped docks and boats, and damaged some buildings early Tuesday morning. Winds destroyed a hanger at the Eveleth-Virginia Airport and the plane inside.
2 Campers Injured by Falling Trees in Northern St. Louis Co.
Two campers were injured by falling trees when a storm came through northern St. Louis County early Tuesday morning. Their injuries were serious, but are not life-threatening.
12,000 Homes, Businesses Still Without Power after Storm
At least 22,000 homes and business in northeastern Minnesota were without power immediately after a severe storms moved through the area early this morning. More than 12,000 remained without power as of early afternoon.
West Duluth Garage Fire Sparks during Early Morning Storms
A garage fire broke out in West Duluth early Tuesday morning as storms swept through the Northland. Flames fully engulfed the garage as the Duluth Fire Department responded. Downed power lines also brought Minnesota Power to the scene. No injuries were reported.
Teen Shot While Standing Outside Home
A 17-year-old girl was shot several times Monday night while standing on her deck in Eckles Township in Beltrami County. Authorities say they have a 40-year-old man in custody.