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Swanson and Nolan make Brainerd Campaign Stop

CROSSLAKE -- At the spry age of 74, Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Crosby, is becoming something of a practitioner of sudden reversals -- at least in terms of his future plans. In early February, the six-term congressman made the sudden announcement he would not be seeking another term as representative for the 8th Congressional District after previously signaling he was on the ballot in November. At the time, the Brainerd-born politician told the Dispatch he was walking away from politics to devote more time to his family -- a family, he said, he had somewhat neglected for the sake of his work in Congress. Now, Nolan is changing course once again -- a surprise announcement Monday, June 4, that his political aspirations have been resurrected, this time in the form of a governor-lieutenant governor bid with Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson. It represents a “partnership,” he emphasized, between two moderate and practical progressives; reminiscent of the working relationship between former President Jimmy Carter and his vice president, Walter Mondale. Though, if you asked Nolan, his decision remains true to his desire to return to Minnesota -- even if it’s back to the political arena to a certain extent, not twilight years spent in the stands of his grandchildren’s basketball games. “My main goal is to come home, be closer to family and the things I enjoy,” Nolan said during a sit-down with the Dispatch Saturday, June 9, at Crosslake Lutheran Church. The congressman was attending a kick-off event for the National Loon Center under consideration for the Whitefish Chain city. “I am coming home, so that hasn’t changed. My one daughter -- five minutes from the Capitol (in St. Paul) -- and I’m not in Washington four, five days a week. I’m back home.”