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Star Tribune Endorses GOP’s Stauber in MN-08 Congressional Race

Republican congressional candidate Pete Stauber speaks at a campaign event in Crosby, Minnesota, on October 2, 2018. - US President Donald Trump has visited Minnesota twice in less than six months. Political strategists are parachuting in from Washington. The writing is on the wall: this is a critical election battleground …
KEREM YUCEL/AFP/Getty

The leading newspaper in the state of Minnesota has endorsed Republican nominee Pete Stauber over his Democrat opponent in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District.

The district is one of three seats in the House of Representatives currently held by a Democrat that Breitbart News has said Republicans must flip in order to maintain a majority in the House of Representatives.

The Star Tribune, which is considered a liberal leaning mainstream media outlet and has not endorsed a Republican gubernatorial candidate in more than 20 years, announced its backing of Stauber on Thursday.

“Stauber’s unique experience stands out,” the Star Tribune editorial board said in its endorsement, adding:

Pragmatic Minnesotans in the Eighth Congressional District should hope Republican Pete Stauber, if elected, is fully committed to a philosophy he shared recently with the Star Tribune Editorial Board: “We don’t need a red playbook or a blue playbook.”

Stauber isn’t running away from President Donald Trump, who won the district by 15 points in 2016. But the retired Duluth police officer, St. Louis County Board member and resident of Hermantown is also aware of the deep union history in the 28,000-square-mile district that includes the Iron Range, Lake Superior’s North Shore and the city he once patrolled in a squad car.

It’s a district that Democrats have controlled for 70 of the past 72 years. Yet many longtime Democrats — as in other economically challenged parts of the Midwest — felt the party had ignored them, and they cast their 2016 votes for Trump while Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan barely won re-election. Nolan’s decision not to run again left the seat open, and Stauber’s deep roots and experience in the district make him the Editorial Board’s endorsement pick over promising Democrat Joe Radinovich.

Stauber has pulled into a significant lead in recent weeks, as Radinovich’s campaign has imploded.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently pulled out of Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District, canceling $1.2 million in ad buys for Democrat Joe Radinovich. The latest polls are showing Stauber with a substantial 15 point lead over Radinovich.

Stauber’s campaign has focused on the growing momentum with this new television ad:

Four other Congressional races in Minnesota are now considered competitive, making the state Donald Trump almost won in 2016 at the center of the battle for control of the House of Representatives.

A surprising change has come in Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District, where Real Clear Politics has moved the race from Lean Democrat to Toss Up. Incumbent Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN-07) been considered a shoo-in over Republican challenger David Hughes. Significantly, however, the Cook Political Report still rates the race as Likely Democrat.

In Minnesota’s First Congressional District, an open seat since Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN-01) is running for governor, Obama-alumni Dan Feehan leads Republican Jim Hagedorn by two points, 47 percent to 45 percent, a statistical tie.

Polls show two seats currently held by Republicans at risk of flipping to Democrats.

In the Third Congressional District, Democratic incumbent  Dean Phillips has taken a significant lead over Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03), who is trailing 42 percent to 51 percent to 51 percent, according to the most recent New York Times Upshot/Siena College Poll.

In the Second Congressional District, Democrat Angie Craig is leading in her rematch with Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN-02), who trails by 12 points.

 

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