Update from the 8th

Nolan1.JPG Only 8 percent of the 8th Congressional District precincts have reported results so far, but primary night parties are in full swing on the Iron Range.

MPR News reporter Mark Zdechlik writes that DFL endorsed candidate Rick Nolan says he feels “terrific” about his primary campaign:

Nolan said he expects he will prevail but that the results will be close in the end and he had high praise for the work the DFL party has done on his behalf.

“The party stepped up in ways that I’ve never seen them do before. They ran television ads for me, they sent out literature for me. They’ve had a very, very good, aggressive get out the vote campaign for us in this race so I feel very, very good about it,” said Nolan.

Nolan also predicted that whoever ends up winning tonight, Democrats will unite tomorrow behind an effort to take back the 8th District seat from first-term Republicans Congressman Chip Cravaack.

Meanwhile MPR’s Dan Kraker reports that Tarryl Clark’s party at the Black Woods Grill and Bar in Duluth is relatively quiet so far:

About 25 supporters are here at 9 p.m., sipping drinks and watching the returns slowly trickle in on a big TV screen. Campaign workers say they expect a long night waiting for returns from the far flung corners of Minnesota’s 8th district.

Adeline Wright, 34, who owns a hair salon in Duluth, is the kind of voter the Clark campaign is banking on. She says the fact that Clark is a woman is important to her.

“I want there to be more equal representation for women,” she said.

But she also believes Clark is the best suited of the three DFL candidates to beat Republican incumbent Chip Cravaack in the general election.

“She has the ability to raise the funds,” she said. “She’s progressive and qualified, and I think she would be the best person to do the job.”

MPR’s Stephanie Hemphill has this report from Jeff Anderson’s campaign, who is so far trailing Nolan and Clark:

The small crowd here at Carmody Pub is cheerful as they check their smartphones for results. A raucous cheer erupts as Ely’s votes are reported. Anderson trounced the others in his home town.

Northern Minnesota’s remote rural precincts are notorious for their slow returns. But Anderson says his strength is the same in Duluth as it is further north, so the earlier Duluth returns will be a good indication of his prospects.

Photo: Rick Nolan, center, greets supporters at the 8th congressional district DFL-endorsed candidate’s primary party, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012 at the Sunshine Kitchen and Moonshine Lounge in Brainerd. (MPR’s Jennifer Simonson)

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