Congressional Debate in Duluth: 3 Candidates Face off for 1st Time

October 07, 2014 06:52 PM

It was the first and likely only time the three men vying for the 8th District Congressional seat will debate before the election.


Ray "Skip" Sandman, Rick Nolan, and Stewart Mills appeared at a debate on Tuesday morning in Duluth.

The attack ads came up first. Stewart Mills, the Republican candidate, said, "If they want to pick on my hair, they don't want to talk about the issues."

Then it was on to pipelines. Mills said he supports the pipelines, both the Keystone and the Sandpiper. 

Green Party candidate Skip Sandman said he does not support the pipeline project, in part because of the potential of a spill.

And incumbent Democrat Rick Nolan said he does support pipelines, if they're done right. "They do in fact lower the carbon footprint, and if we use American made steel, they will be safer."

As for PolyMet and the copper-nickel mining, Sandman has made his opposition to them his key platform for running.

Mills said he's for it. "PolyMet is an amazingly well-thought out project. Science and engineering are there. Nine years, there's no reason not to move forward with it."

He also accused Nolan of flip-flopping on the issue.

Nolan fired back. "I do support PolyMet, and I have always supported PolyMet. I reject the argument that just because something has never been done before safely that it can't be done."

When gun control came up, Sandman said, "I totally support the second amendment, being a veteran who was trained to use guns. I think we need to tweak the registration process and background checks, to keep the guns out of the hands of psychopaths and crazies."

Nolan said he's a strong supporter of the second amendment as well. "Some of the most joyful moments in my life have been with a gun in my hand. I do support the second amendment, but it doesn't mean we can't have gun safety like background checks."

And Mills told the crowd that Nolan has gotten an "F" rating from the NRA. "We need to enforce the gun laws that we have, rather than  making new ones."

You can see the debate right here on Channels 10 and 13, on Sunday at 2 pm.


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