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Congressional candidate Nolan visits Wadena for an afternoon

The favorite of DFL primary voters both district-wide and locally, U.S. Representative District 8 candidate Rick Nolan, stopped at Boondocks Café in Wadena Monday afternoon as part of a campaign tour around the western edge of the congressional district.

"We've got really good grassroots support," Nolan said.

Winning the Democratic party a day later, the former Congressman from 1975-1981 will go on to face incumbent Chip Cravaack in the general election.

Nolan said a way to help economic problems in the area is to stop overseas wars and focus on the US, instead of nation building abroad.

"We need to stop these wars of choice," he said, adding that they are not the same as national defense.

Nolan, of Crosby, Minn., said Crow Wing County is like Wadena County in that it has high poverty and unemployment rates.

Nolan also said transportation projects were important to him. He wants to see a light rail from the Twin Cities to Duluth.

He also said he wants an incentive for keeping jobs in the US, rather than moving them overseas.

Additionally, he said Minnesota is projected to have $65 billion in road and bridge needs in upcoming years, but only $15 billion is dedicated to such projects.

"I intend to go on the transportation committee if elected," Nolan said regarding the issue of widening U.S. Highway 10 through Wadena.

During the meet and greet event at Boondocks, Nolan recognized Cornelius Paulson of Red Eye Township, rural Sebeka.

"He was our congressman when I was mayor of Albertville," Paulson said. "He's a people person, that's what he is."

Paulson said Nolan was helpful and outgoing when he served in office in the late 1970s, including 1976, "the drought year."

Paulson was not the only person with a previous connection to Nolan's past service.

Ione Yates, Nolan's scheduler from the Eagle Valley and Clarissa area, said she used to work for Nolan years ago in Washington, D.C.

"I was just young. I was his age," she said, pointing to executive assistant and recent college grad Mark Privratsky.

Nolan said Congress as a whole nowadays puts in less work than when he was there, and he hopes to acknowledge issues brought up by Wadena city leaders and local residents.