Posted at: 11/07/2012 1:25 AM
Updated at: 11/07/2012 4:11 PM
Democrat Rick Nolan has beaten Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack to recapture a northeastern Minnesota seat long considered Democratic turf.
Nolan will return to Congress more than 30 years after he served during the Ford and Carter administrations. Cravaack was the first Republican to represent the district in more than 60 years, and was out to prove his upset of an 18-term Democrat two years ago was no fluke.
In front of a room of subdued supporters in Hinckley, Cravaack said, "Once again, the voters have spoken. They have chosen a new path. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the men and women of the 8th district. I have given my pledge to Congressman Nolan that this will be a seamless transition." He spoke around 1:15 in the morning, after he called Nolan to concede.
Cravaack also thanked his family, for enduring his long absences, and all of the supporters in this campaign.
Nolan was trying to make a comeback after decades out of politics. Democrats viewed the race as one of their best chances to gain a House seat. National groups spent millions attacking both candidates.