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Minnesota Lt Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon has added her name to the ever-growing list of prominent current and former elected DFL officials, party activists, community leaders and unions supporting former Congressman Rick Nolan in his bid for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor endorsement for 8th district congress.  

Prettner Solon has not issued a formal statement, but the Nolan campaign announced Monday that Prettner Solon is chairing the Duluthians for Nolan group, hosting a meet and greet for the former congressman on 20 March at the home of Harold and Ruth Frederick, two of Duluth's most prominent community leaders. Prettner Solon represented Duluth in the Minnesota Senate from 2002 until her election as lieutenant governor in November 2010.

Joining the lieutenant governor as a co-host of the event is Daniel Fanning, a former candidate for the 8th congressional district DFL endorsement. Fanning left the race in December and until now has remained silent about to whom he would throw his support.

These latest endorsements are indicative of the strong, broad based support Nolan has built throughout northeastern Minnesota. He clearly has the momentum heading into the county unit conventions, and continues to be the front runner for the DFL endorsement.

Nolan has stated from the very beginning of his campaign for Congress that he will abide by the party's endorsement.  Former Duluth City Councilor Jeff Anderson, now the only other candidate seeking the endorsement, has not given such a clear position and in a recent interview with MinnPost, Anderson said that he is currently undecided but will announce his intentions soon.

Former State Senator Tarryl Clark, who served as assistant majority leader while Prettner Solon served in the Senate, made headlines last week when she announced her intent to bypass the DFL endorsement and force a primary in the race.  As noted by Eric Black at MinnPost, this decision came after Clark finished a distant third at February's precinct caucuses, making it extremely unlikely that she would receive the endorsement.  It is significant that  Lt Governor Prettner Solon, Clark's friend and former Senate colleague, chose to endorse Cuyuna Range native Nolan on the heels of that announcement and should suggest to St Cloud resident Clark that she has little support in the 8th congressional district in northeastern Minnesota and therefore no reasonable expectation of winning a primary.

Last week, DFL Party chair Ken Martin issued a statement discouraging Clark's intention to force an expensive and time consuming primary, saying

As a former associate chair of the State DFL Party, Tarryl Clark knows the importance of the endorsement process.  By forcing a primary election, we risk wasting valuable DFL resources and drawing the focus away from the real goal of defeating Chip Cravaack.

There is far too much at stake in the Eighth Congressional District to focus on anything other than making Chip Cravaack a one-term Congressman.  That is why it is so important that we unite as a party in support of a DFL-endorsed candidate who understands the values of the Eighth District and who is committed to representing the people of northeastern Minnesota in Washington

Cross posted from Minnesota Progressive Project, where I cover the Nolan campaign.

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