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Nolan, Dems Celebrate 8th Congressional District Win

Posted at: 11/07/2012 4:48 PM
Updated at: 11/07/2012 5:17 PM
By: Alan Hoglund
ahoglund@wdio.com

The morning after a late night keeping a close eye on voting results, was a calm and relaxed one for Democrat Rick Nolan, now the Congressman-elect in Minnesota's 8th District. He defeated Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minnesota, by about 8 percent.

Wednesday morning, Nolan told Eyewitness News "I felt great last night and I still feel great this morning. We're running on fuels, or fumes as they say."

Nolan's campaign party had only wrapped up hours prior, or after 2 a.m. Unlike breakfast, it was chaotic.

"We're feeling good. We're feeling good but we've got a ways to go," Nolan told reporters shortly after some of the first votes were counted. He was taking some time early on in the night to greet family, friends and supporters.

As the results began to trickle in slowly, leaders with Nolan's campaign were tracking them, comparing them to the results of the 8th Congressional District race in 2010, between Democrat Jim Oberstar, and Republican Chip Cravaack, who went on to take the seat, winning by about 1 1/2 percent.

Nolan's campaign manager told us "we feel like we're in a good place."

They were in a good place. An hour later, well after 1 a.m., Nolan took the stage, ready to make an announcement. He told the crowd that Cravaack had conceded, then praised his supporters. "This isn't my victory. This is our victory. Thank you so much!"

Proud to have overcome Cravaack, Nolan acknowledged what he called their "very different views," but called Cravaack a "gentleman," and praised his service to the country.

"Despite those differences, I have nothing but the greatest respect for someone who stands up and fights for what they believe in," Nolan said in his victory speech.

It was, without a doubt, an exhilarating night for Democrats in Minnesota. They successfully took back the 8th Congressional District seat, taken from them just two years ago.

"We're going to restore the dream! We're going to restore the promise! That's what this campaign is all about," Nolan shouted to the crowd.

Nolan hasn't been in Washington for more than three decades, but now that he's headed back, he said "it feels like deja vu all over again."