Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 19, 2014

Minnesota: Delegation to Headline Rick Nolan Fundraiser

A pack of noteworthy Democratic Members were scheduled Wednesday to host a fundraiser for former Rep. Rick Nolan, who is running for the Democratic nomination in Minnesota’s 8th district. The invitation to the Washington, D.C., event encourages attendees to come “celebrate the Democratic Farmer Labor Endorsement of Rick Nolan.”

The fundraiser’s hosts include Minnesota’s entire Democratic Congressional delegation and non-Gopher State Members that Nolan served with during his previous stint on Capitol Hill. Nolan has a competitive primary and is trying to send a message that Minnesota’s Democratic establishment and others are coalescing around his candidacy.

Those set to attend Nolan’s fundraiser included Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and Reps. Collin Peterson, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison and Tim Walz. Also among the fundraiser’s hosts were the former occupant of the seat, ex-Rep. James Oberstar.

“We’re all in this together,” McCollum’s chief of staff, Bill Harper, said. He noted that it is highly common for Representatives to support candidates who have earned the state party endorsement in this manner, adding that the DFL endorsement “carries a lot of weight.”

The event will be held early Wednesday evening at the Capitol Hill home of Elena “Cini” McGrann. McGrann is married to Dennis McGrann, a lobbyist at Lockridge Grindal Nauen, according to the MinnPost website.

Contribution levels noted in the invitation include:

  • $2,500 PAC
  • $500 “Individual Host”
  • $125 “Sponsor”

Three of the fundraiser’s hosts, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Oberstar, have long ties to Nolan. They were all elected to the House together in the Watergate class of 1974.

Nolan served in Congress from 1975 to 1981. Last week, he won his state party’s endorsement by a large margin. But he does not have easy sailing to his party’s nomination. Nolan faces former state Sen. Tarryl Clark. Clark remains formidable opposition. She challenged Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) in 2010 in a nationalized race that was described as “the costliest” in the country. As a result, Clark has a substantial voter email base. The winner will take on Rep. Chip Cravaack (R) in the fall.

Roll Call Politics rates this race as a Tossup.

Correction: 4:18 p.m.

An earlier version of this article gave an incorrect date for the fundraiser. The fundraiser is scheduled for Wednesday.

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