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Press Release: In Case You Missed It NYT: Meet GOP’s best hope at flipping a House seat

HERMANTOWN – The following are excerpts from a New York Times story about Pete Stauber’s campaign for Congress:

For 70 of the past 72 years, a Democrat has represented this rural corner of northern Minnesota in Congress. But when loggers, foresters and truckers convened on the county fairgrounds here for the annual timber industry expo last month, the star of the “celebrity log-loading” contest was a Republican.

He is Pete Stauber, a former professional hockey player and retired police lieutenant with a ramrod-straight bearing and a politician’s firm grip. He may also be his party’s best hope for pulling off this year’s most improbable feat: flipping a Democratic House seat.

As Republicans brace for a “blue wave” that could cost them control of Congress, they can count on one hand their opportunities to play offense. Mr. Stauber’s race — in a union-heavy, Trump-friendly, mostly white working-class district that includes the mining region known as the Iron Range — is their best shot…

Mr. Stauber is a commissioner in the county that includes Proctor and Duluth, and he has a sprawling extended family. His brief career with a minor league affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings gives him a certain cachet in hockey-crazy Minnesota. And it does not hurt that his younger brother, Robb, coached the 2018 women’s Olympic hockey team to a gold medal.

“He has a good pedigree,” said Jake Benson, 66, the publisher of The Proctor Journal, who went to school with two of Mr. Stauber’s cousins. “If you were trying to cast a candidate, he’d be it…

With his look-you-in-the-eye gaze and close-cropped military-style haircut, Mr. Stauber looks every bit the law enforcement officer he once was. He is playing up his image as a law-and-order family man. His wife, Jodi, an Air National Guard veteran, and four children, including a 16-year-old with Down syndrome, joined him on the Hoghead Parade float…

“The Democratic Party has rejected us,” complained one of those mayors, Larry Cuffe Jr., of the city of Virginia. Mr. Cuffe, a lifelong Democrat, backed Mr. Trump in 2016 and will vote for Mr. Stauber…

He sidled up to one woman, Sheila Lund, 48, a credit union loan officer, and whispered that he liked her shirt, which read “Jesus Saves.” She spun around, startled, and he introduced himself.

“Nice to meet you! We’re voting for you!” she exclaimed, gesturing to her husband. Later, she added, “I like his values.”…

Jim Berkeland, 59, a timber buyer for a local paper mill, expressed the kind of economic anxiety that helped Mr. Trump win so solidly here. Mr. Berkeland says he votes “the person,” not the party. He came to the expo undecided, but is now a Stauber supporter.

Momentum has been growing for Stauber. This week, the Duluth News Tribune, the largest newspaper in the 8th district endorsed Stauber, saying “There’s no denying Pete Stauber’s impressive lifetime of public service or his unwavering devotion and commitment to us in Northeastern Minnesota and in the 8th Congressional District. All voters in the 8th District can embrace Stauber’s commitment to them, no matter their politics, confident he has made good on similar pledges made during a lifetime of devoted public service.”

The DNT joined ECM Newspapers and Adams Publishing which publish dozens of community newspapers throughout the region, who endorsed my candidacy last week. “In our opinion the edge goes to Stauber based on his broader, more diverse life experience,” their editorial said.