In 2012, GOP incumbent Chip Cravaack lost his reelection bid to Democrat Rich Nolan. Larry Sabato’s crystal ball has this contest in the Leans Democrat category for 2014. Over the next year this contest may be viewed differently with Stewart Mills. He comes across as an entirely authentic Minnesotan. His family’s business has been successful, but that’s a good thing: it will be hard to portray Fleet Farm as some kind of an elitist business. It is Mills, not Nolan, who comes across as a quintessential Minnesotan. The 8th is a traditionally Democratic district, but not a particularly liberal one. On the contrary, it is mostly conservative, culturally. Gun rights loom large, and the Democrats have largely written off the white working class.
Below is an excerpt from his website, a couple of quotes, and a video that is one of the best smackdowns of the Democrat folly of gun control. He wears his hair a little long, and sometimes skips the suit and tie, but the 8th district in northeast Minnesota is a very blue collar district where this style goes a lot further than being a slick politician in a business suit.
Stewart Mills is a 41 year old married father of 5 that lives with his family in the Brainerd Lakes area. Since the age of 14 he has worked in his family’s businesses in a variety of positions. Upon graduation in 1995 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Northwood University Stewart entered Fleet Farm’s store management program, working at a number of different Fleet Farm stores.
Stewart served as the Director of Personnel for Fleet Farm from 2000-2010 overseeing the administration and management of a workforce of more than 6,000, as well as health insurance, 401k, Profit Sharing and other benefit plans. Currently, Stewart is Vice President of Mills Fleet Farm, headquartered out of Brainerd, MN. Stewart is also the originator of FleetFarm.com, innovative health care plans, Mills Indoor Shooting and Archery, brands of Firearms and accessories, the “We Love It! Outdoors” Television series and numerous other forward thinking projects aimed at increasing the retail reach of Mills Fleet Farm, now and in the future.
Stewart is also very involved in the community. As a board member of the Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police Foundation he created the “Fleet Farm Fraternal 4H” 4K run to raise money for the Fraternal Order of Police Foundation and the local 4-H. Stewart is also the creator of the Louis Hostager Award given annually in conjunction with the Brainerd YMCA to recognize individuals that have significantly impacted the Brainerd Lakes Area.
Second Amendment is huge up here. People up here grew up with a gun in their hands. Gun-free zones are killing our kids.
We can debate campaign funding until we’re blue in the face, but it’s not going to create jobs for people here in the 8th District. The federal government is putting up roadblocks and handicapping the private businesses of the 8th District with increasing taxes on small business owners and mandates from the Affordable Care Act.