Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

Brad Pitt and Minnesota’s 8th District

Just the name, Stewart Mills III, sounds like a stereotypical Republican, but the shoulder-length hair is evidence that he might be a different type of GOP candidate.

Mills is seriously considering challenging Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan in Minnesota’s 8th District, a large geographic district that includes The Iron Range. If he decides to run, as most observers expect, Mills will be a stark contrast to the 69-year-old congressman who is serving his first term after his first tenure in Congress in the late 1970s.

According to one local Democratic source, Mills has “Brad Pitt kind of appeal” but shouldn’t be dismissed because of his looks. He also has the potential to raise money from conservatives across the country. His YouTube video (see below), “Duck Hunting Shotgun Proven to Be more Dangerous Than a Huldra AR-15,” has more than 270,000 views. The video was an open letter to Nolan and both Minnesota senators, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken.

His profile could resonate well with the district. Mills, 40, worked his way up in the family business, Mills Fleet Farm, and is now CEO of the company, which includes more than 30 retail stores with wide-ranging offerings including farm supplies, sporting goods, home and garden supplies, and in some cases a gas station and an indoor shooting and archery range.

Unseating Nolan won’t be easy. He defeated GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack by almost 10 points in a district that President Barack Obama won twice and John Kerry won with about 52 percent in presidential elections. But Cravaack was consistently plagued by stories about his family’s move to New Hampshire, and he didn’t have the same local ties as Mills.

It remains to be seen how Mills performs as a candidate, but this looks like a district Democrats may not be able to take for granted.

Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call currently rates the race as Safe for the Democrats — pending a final decision from Mills.

  • don_raihala

    Put a Fleet Farm on the court disputed Hwy 35 frontage acreage in Proctor, leading into Liberal Duluth, and he’ll take the “F” out of DFL Rep. Nolan’s backers. The “F” being the farmer in the Minnesota sham DFL ploy that insists on linking the farmer with unionized labor. Nolan’s been “F”ing (not farming) the 8th district by not heavily backing mining which would make Northern MN boomtown USA. He was only pushed in to get rid of Chip; I would expect other DFLers to surface throughout the summer to take the reigns of entitlement.

    • HankFord

      The Farmer-Labor party predates the DFL. Are you misconstruing history with malice or because of a lack of intelligence?

      • don_raihala

        I know of no farmer that openly supports the Obama agenda like union folk blindly do. You see, a farmer leads the bull by the nose and the working union stiff allows the boss to be his master. It’s an antiquated party that needs retooling. DWL (welfare/labor) party would be more appropriate, since they both vote the same ticket and both want ever increasing wages.

  • stephen beck

    Great ad for his busines; I bet “Hulda” sales have increased.

  • stephen beck

    And “worked his way up in the family business”? Please. You make it sound like he struggled. Considering that he’s SM the third, he probably was hand picked as future CEO at birth. Sure, he was trained, i.e., groomed, for the job and learned how to run the company. But it’s not like he had any competition.

    And in this, he is absolutely a stereotypical Republican politician: Entitled. It reminds of Ann Richard’s comment about George Bush junior: He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...