Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2012, 4th term.

Born: December 17, 1943, Brainerd, MN

Home: Crosby, MN

Education: U. of MN, B.A., 1966

Professional Career: Staff asst., Sen. Walter Mondale, D-Minn., 1966-68; Education dir., Head Start, 1968; teacher, 1968-69; pres., U.S. Export Corp., 1981-86; pres., MN World Trade Ctr. Corp., 1987-94; pres., Emily Forest Products, 1994-2011

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Roman Catholic

Family: Married (Mary) , 4 children

Former Rep. Rick Nolan returned to the House after a three-decade absence, having beaten tea party-backed freshman Republican Chip Cravaack in 2012. When he quit in 1981, Nolan told The Washington Post, “Congress is relatively impotent to make the changes the country needs.” But now, a full generation later, he says he’s confident he can get things done in a district that overlaps in some southern areas with his old one.

Nolan grew up as the middle of three children in the old railroad town of Brainerd, Minn. As a teenager, his aunt, Eleanor Nolan, was appointed Minnesota’s first female district judge. He calls her his biggest political influence growing up. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota, and did graduate work in public policy at the University of Maryland and later in education at St. Cloud State University. He campaigned for antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 presidential race before serving two terms in the Minnesota House.

In 1974, Nolan made the leap to the House, where he compiled a liberal voting record. He made his mark in 1979 when he traveled to Cuba to secure the release of American prisoners. Nolan and Cuban leader Fidel Castro bonded over fishing, and Castro—after agreeing to the prisoners’ release—extended an invitation for him to return for some deep-sea angling. Nolan also battled what he saw as the federal government’s favoritism of large farms and pushed legislation for education programs, equipment loans, and tax-code changes to benefit small farmers.

Frustrated with his party’s leadership, Nolan broke ranks and joined five House colleagues to lobby Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., to challenge incumbent Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination for president in 1980. He then left Congress, calling himself a “liberal idealist unhappily turned wiser and more realistic,” and returned to Minnesota.

When the Minnesota World Trade Center Corp., or WTC, launched in 1983, Nolan was appointed as an unpaid chairman by then-Democratic Gov. Rudy Perpich, and in 1987, he went on the payroll as the organization’s president. Nolan claims to have created 326,000 Minnesota jobs through his work at the organization, a public-private initiative to help Minnesota businesses expand into international markets. But his Republican foes criticized his $70,000 salary, which they considered high for a civil servant at the time, and the budget deficits the company ran up. In 1994, Nolan became president of Emily Forest Products, a sawmill and pallet manufacturer. He is an avid hunter, fisher, and farmer; he harvests wild rice and makes his own maple syrup.

The lack of local jobs, he says, inspired him to return to Washington at age 69 to push for small-business tax breaks and infrastructure investment. In 2012, national Democrats targeted Cravaack, who scored one of the upsets of the decade in 2010 by beating 18-term Rep. Jim Oberstar, then chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Nolan beat two other candidates in the August Democratic primary with 38% of the vote, setting up a confrontation with Cravaack in the fall.

Cravaack dismissed Nolan as “a big-government, more-taxes, more-spending, more-regulation kind of guy.” But Nolan played up his support for small business and blasted Cravaack for backing House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s controversial plans to introduce vouchers into Medicare. Nolan won, 54% to 46%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6211

(202) 225-0699

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2366
Washington, DC 20515-2308

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6211

(218) 464-5098

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2366
Washington, DC 20515-2308

DISTRICT OFFICE

(218) 464-5095

(218) 464-5098

11 East Superior Street Room 125
Duluth, MN 55802

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-6211

(218) 464-5098

11 East Superior Street Room 125
Duluth, MN 55802

DISTRICT OFFICE

(218) 454-4078

(218) 454-4096

Brainerd City Hall
Brainerd, MN 56401

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-6211

(218) 464-5098

Brainerd City Hall
Brainerd, MN 56401

DISTRICT OFFICE

(218) 491-3131

313 North Main Street Room 103
Center City, MN 55012

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-6211

(218) 464-5098

313 North Main Street Room 103
Center City, MN 55012

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-6211

(218) 464-5098

Chisholm City Hall Room 7
Chisholm, MN 55719

DISTRICT OFFICE

(218) 491-3114

316 West Lake Street Suite 7
Chisholm, MN 55719

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-6211

(218) 464-5098

PO Box 1041
Brainerd, MN 56401

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

31516 Old Bridge Road
Crosby, MN 56441

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Staff

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Abortion

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Will Mitchell
Legislative Director

Arts

Emily German
Legislative Correspondent

Banking

Will Mitchell
Legislative Director

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Will Mitchell
Legislative Director

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Will Mitchell
Legislative Director

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Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

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Emily German
Legislative Correspondent

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Will Mitchell
Legislative Director

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Will Mitchell
Legislative Director

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Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Sam Wanous
Staff Assistant

sam.wanous@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6211

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Grants

Enid Swaggert
Field Representative; Constituent Services Representative

Health

Will Mitchell
Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Housing

Emily German
Legislative Correspondent

Immigration

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Intelligence

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Will Mitchell
Legislative Director

Military

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

National Security

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Privacy

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Public Works

Eddie Wytkind
Legislative Assistant

Seniors

Will Mitchell
Legislative Director

Small Business

Sam Wanous
Staff Assistant

sam.wanous@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6211

Tax

Will Mitchell
Legislative Director

Technology

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Joe Stanoch
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Eddie Wytkind
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2014 GENERAL
Rick Nolan
Votes: 129,090
Percent: 48.55%
Stewart Mills
Votes: 125,357
Percent: 47.14%
2012 GENERAL
Rick Nolan
Votes: 191,976
Percent: 54.46%
Chip Cravaack
Votes: 160,520
Percent: 45.54%
2012 PRIMARY
Rick Nolan
Votes: 20,840
Percent: 38.29%
Tarryl Clark
Votes: 17,554
Percent: 32.25%
Jeff Anderson
Votes: 16,035
Percent: 29.46%

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