It’s looking more likely that Chip Cravaack will win re-election this year. The Star Tribune’s endorsement of Chip makes Rick Nolan’s fight an uphill fight at best. The Star Tribune’s endorsement of Chip Cravaack isn’t proof it’s turning moderate:
By failing this year to run a next-generation candidate with an energetic plan for economic growth, state Democrats have made it clear that the party didn’t get the message voters sent two years ago: We’re ready for a change, and we want a candidate focused on local jobs instead of delivering federal pork, as Oberstar did so skillfully through the years.
It’s clear they don’t think highly of Rick Nolan. They all but called him a fossil or a relic. It’s clear they would’ve endorsed a “next-generation candidate with an energetic plan for economic growth” if the DFL could’ve found such a candidate.
The reality is the DFL would’ve been better off running Jeff Anderson against Chip Cravaack. Councilman Anderson would’ve been a better mining advocate than Nolan turned out to be. That said, this endorsement is mostly about Chip Cravaack being a great fit to represent the Eighth District:
Cravaack has admirably bucked his party on labor and trade legislation — prevailing wage protections, the Buy America Steel amendment– that supported area industry and scored points with union members. The 52-year-old father of two is also praised widely around northeast Minnesota for his numerous town halls. He was quickly on the scene after Duluth’s devastating flood and has voted against Republican measures to cut disaster aid in general.
Cravaack has a reputation as a Tea Party hardliner, but he’s compiled a voting record that has led to vote-tracking organizations scoring him as a moderate among Minnesota’s GOP delegation. Cravaack remains deeply conservative on issues such as abortion, but the heavily Catholic Eighth District skews the same way. To his credit, Cravaack is a low-key, rather than shrill, proponent of his social views.
A day after Chip Cravaack defeated Jim Oberstar, the DCCC all but officially painted a bright red bulls-eye on Chip Cravaack’s chest. The only Republican with a brighter bulls-eye than Chip Cravaack’s was Michele Bachmann’s. It appears Bachmann and Cravaack will both escape the DCCC’s wrath.
If Chip Cravaack is re-elected in Minnesota’s Eighth District, it’ll be the Minnesota equivalent of Scott Brown winning re-election to Ted Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts.