May 9, 2021

LIVE RESULTS: First-term Rep. Pete Stauber looks to defend his seat against Democrat Quinn Nystrom in Minnesotas 8th Congressional District

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Freshman GOP Rep. Pete Stauber looks to defend his new seat against Democratic challenger Quinn Nystrom in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.

The candidates

Stauber formerly played in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers. Following his hockey career, Stauber became a police officer in Duluth for 22 years. In that time, he rose to the rank of area commander and became the president of the local Law Enforcement Labor Services Union. 

In 2018, Stauber defeated Democrat Joe Radinovich by 5.5 percentage points after the incumbent, Rick Nolan, announced his retirement and plans to run for lieutenant governor. Stauber was one of just three Republicans in 2018 to flip a Democrat-held seat to a Republican seat in the House.

Nystrom, Stauber’s Democratic challenger, is a fourth-generation Minnesotan. Nystrom served on Baxter, Minnesota’s, city council while simultaneously working as the council liaison for the Community Behavioral Health Hospital. Nystrom’s campaign is centered around making healthcare affordable, supporting Native communities, ending the opioid epidemic, and expanding the economy.

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The district

Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District covers the entire Mideastern region of the state. It is home to the Vermilion and Mesabi iron ranges as well as the Superior National Forest. The district also includes the counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Chisago, Cook, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, St. Louis, and Wadena.

While the district voted Democratically in the four presidential elections preceding it, the 8th District voted for Republican President Donald Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a 54-39% split, according to Daily Kos.

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Stauber has raised over $2.4 million, spent over $2 million, and has around $413,000 in cash on while Nystrom has raised over $1.2 million, spent $1.2 million, and has a little over $71,000 in cash on hand. 

What experts say

The race between Stauber and Nystrom is rated as “safe Republican” by Inside Elections, the Cook Political Report, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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