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Nolan-Mills U.S. House race tight

Former 2014 GOP candidate for the 8th Congressional District Stewart Mills announced Saturday he is forming an exploratory committee to weigh whether to run again.1 / 2
Rick Nolan2 / 2

ST. PAUL — Minnesota's northeast quadrant attracted attention from national politicians as Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan struggled to keep his U.S. House seat as Republican Stewart Mills challenged him for the second straight election, and another one that appeared likely to go down to the wire. In unofficial returns, Nolan led 51 percent to 49 with 705 of 810 precincts reporting. However, a couple big precincts had yet to report at press time. The 8th Congressional District race was on pace to be the most expensive in the country with more than $20 million spent.

In a district across southern Minnesota, less than 30 votes separated challenger Republican Jim Hagedorn and Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Walz in unofficial returns from 656 of 697 precincts. The race was a rematch from 2014 when Walz had little trouble holding his seat. The only House race without an incumbent running looked tight contest. Democrat Angie Craig unofficially had 42 percent and Republican Jason Lewis 49 percent with 20 of 292 precincts reporting in the southern Twin Cities and rural areas to the south. Elsewhere, incumbent congressmen appeared their way to wins: Democrat Collin Peterson in the west, Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen in the western Twin Cities, Republican Tom Emmer north of the Twin Cities, Democrat Keith Ellison in the Minneapolis area and Betty McCollum in the east Twin Cities.