Mills Fleet Farm Vice President Stewart Mills III is considering a run for Congress against DFL Rep. Rick Nolan in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.
Mills launched a campaign website and filed paperwork this week to form an exploratory committee to run for the seat in 2014 after experiencing a “groundswell of support” for his candidacy, he said. “I’m humbled by the overwhelming grassroots support I’ve received from across the district,” Mills wrote in a statement on Wednesday. “I look forward to further exploring how I can best represent the people of Minnesota and ensure that American is home to big ideas.”
Mills has been rumored to be eyeing the seat for months. He became popular with Republicans for a January video message he sent to Minnesota’s two U.S. senators and Nolan opining that shotguns used in duck hunting are more dangerous than an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. Nolan had said he supported a ban on automatic weapons in the wake of a school shooting in Newton, Conn. Mills has made the rounds to groups like the Minnesota College Republicans to talk about 2nd Amendment rights and tax increases.
Republicans in Minnesota are targeting the seat after Nolan beat freshman Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack last fall. Cravaack was the first Republican to serve in the district in decades after he defeated longtime veteran DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar in 2010.
Mills, 41, lives in Nisswa with his wife and five children.