Jen Schultz: One on one with Tom Hauser

One on one with Jennifer Schultz

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For more than seven decades Minnesota’s 8th congressional district was controlled by democrats, primarily congressman Jim Oberstar.

But since he left office in 2011, the seat has changed parties, and since 2018 has been represented by republican Pete Stauber.

KSTP chief political reporter Tom Hauser profiled Stauber, click below for that one on one interview. Now, a profile with Stauber’s democratic challenger, Jen Schultz. The race in November will be a rematch between the two.

“We’re starting much earlier this time,” Schultz said. “So it’s a very different campaign. I have a really strong team.”

The two squared off in 2022 when Stauber defeated Schultz by 14 points, 57 percent to 43 percent in what has become a republican-leaning district.

“How do you overcome that?,” Hauser asked.

“Well it’s been a strong DFL district for 70 of the last 77 years,” Schultz answered. “So in 2018 when it was an open seat, that’s when my opponent won and he’s been in office for five years and it can swing back. People thought that my opponent was going to be a moderate and take votes that reflected the people of the district and that’s not happening.”

Schultz will need a strong team if she’s going to beat the incumbent. One difficulty for democrats is that the 8th district extends all the way from the northern border with Canada to the northern parts of the twin cities metro area, an area that tends to lean republican.

Meanwhile, pro-mining forces on the iron range have been increasingly unhappy about what they consider anti-mining policies from state and federal democrats. On that topic, Schultz says she’s not anti-mining.

“People care about mining. It’s very important to people. It’s important to part of our economy in our district. People care about a lot of other issues Stauber has voted against,” she said.

Among those issues, she says he voted against a bill that included a billion dollars for the Blatnik bridge project. Stauber says he supported the bridge funding but thought the overall bill was too costly.

“We rely on the Blatnik Bridge. Thousands of people drive over it every day. It’s hundreds of millions of dollars in commerce. It is critical for our regional economy,” Schultz said. “So I think people are upset because he took credit for getting the funding when he voted against the bill.”

Click here to watch our one on one interview with Congressman Pete Stauber.