For­mer FBI an­a­lyst joins spir­ited race

DFLer Leah Phifer touts her ex­pe­ri­ence as a coun­tert­er­ror­ism ex­pert.

Star Tribune - - MINNESOTA - By JEN­NIFER BROOKS jen­nifer.brooks@star­tri­bune.com

WASH­ING­TON – The race for one of Min­nesota’s most in­tensely con­tested con­gres­sional seats is get­ting more crowded.

For­mer FBI coun­tert­er­ror­ism an­a­lyst Leah Phifer an­nounced over the week­end she is chal­leng­ing in­cum­bent Rep. Rick Nolan for the DFL en­dorse­ment in north­east­ern Min­nesota’s Eighth Con­gres­sional District. Re­pub­li­can Pete Stauber, a St. Louis County com­mis­sioner and for­mer pro hockey player, has been build­ing a cam­paign since sum­mer. And Stewart Mills, who nar­rowly lost to Nolan in the last two elec­tions, is weigh­ing a pos­si­ble third run.

The sprawl­ing Eighth was among the most ex­pen­sive con­gres­sional bat­tle­grounds in the na­tion last year, as Nolan held his seat against a tidal wave of cash from out­side the state — and even as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump car­ried the district.

“This time won’t be any dif­fer­ent, I’m sure,” Nolan said Tues­day.

But since Nolan with­stood two well-funded chal­lenges from Mills in what were mostly good years for Re­pub­li­can can­di­dates, some fo­cus could shift

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