Two years ago in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District race, mining and the economy — and who was better for both — played a central role in the Rick Nolan-Stewart Mills rematch. Fast-forward to today and the changed political climate, the Joe Radinovich-Pete Stauber race is drawing from the same well.
In their first debate last week and afterward, the Republican Stauber and Democrat Radinovich sparred over their stances on future copper-nickel developments. At one point, Stauber accused his opponent of doing a “Texas two-step” on the subject and that he was more concerned about politics.
Their differences aren’t dissimilar to 2016 when opponents launched ads saying Nolan, the incumbent Democrat, was using mining support as a political tool, and that Republicans were the party that would ultimately support the industry.
“I will not play politics with the lives and families of the miners and the Iron Range,” Stauer said. “We will do what’s right, always. They know they can’t count of me.”
Radinovich said he’s supported mining to his own political detriment at times, a position he’s somewhat familiar with after running Nolan’s campaign in 2016 when Resolution 54, an anti-copper nickel stance, was weighed by the DFL. It was ultimately defeated in the wake of the 2016 election.