Stewart Mills kicks off campaign for Congress

(MPR Photo/ Mark Zdechlik)

Businessman Stewart Mills today formally launched his Republican campaign for Congress against DFL U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan in Minnesota’s 8th District.

Mills, 41,  is an executive with his family’s Mills Fleet Farm chain. He has never run for public office.  He said if he’s elected he will vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to cut government spending. Mills appeared at two campaign kick-offs Thursday, including one at a business in Rush City about an hour north of St. Paul.

“I’m the most least-likely person to be running, but we have in our family something we call the “hunting camp doctrine” and that says when you’re at hunting camp, if you complain about a problem, you get the job to fix it,” he said.

Mills said Washington has to do something about the growing national debt.

“We are passing debt and burden and problems on our next generation,” he said. “Really we are leaving the campsite that is the United States of America a mess, and we have to correct that because we have to leave this country better than what we found it.”

Nolan defeated first-term Republican Chip Cravaack in 2012. Cravaack has endorsed Mills. The race for Congress in the 8th District is expected to be one of the most hotly contested congressional battles in Minnesota next year.