Washington (CNN)Minnesota Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan announced Friday he won't seek re-election, handing Republicans a rare opportunity to pick up a seat this fall.
"There is a time and a purpose for everything and now is the time for me to pass the baton to the next generation," Nolan said in a statement.
Nolan - Re-election - Votes - Minnesota - District
Nolan won re-election by about 2,000 votes in 2016, but northeastern Minnesota's 8th District is Donald Trump country: The President won the district by 16 percentage points over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. That was an incredible 22-point swing for the GOP over the 2012 election results, when Barack Obama won the district by six points.
The seat was already a top target for the GOP, which sees opportunities to go on offense in Minnesota while defending its incumbents elsewhere across the 2018 map.
Republicans - Candidate - Pete - Stauber - Professional
Republicans landed a top-tier candidate in Pete Stauber, a former professional hockey player turned police officer and co-owner of the Duluth Hockey Company and whose wife is an Iraq War veteran.
"This seat was already one of our best pickup opportunities and we look forward to turning...
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