|Former candidate for|
|U.S. House, Minnesota, District 8|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 4, 2014|
|Profession||Vice President of Mills Fleet Farm|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Issues
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Personal
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Mills is the grandson of Mills Fleet Farm founder Stewart Mills Sr. Mills Fleet Farm is a retail chain located in the Midwest. Mills has worked for his family business in various capacities since he was 14. He is currently vice president of the business. Mills has started various other projects, including an indoor shooting range and a television series. He has been a board member of the Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police Foundation and is the creator of the Louis Hostager Award, given by the Brainerd Family YMCA.
- B.A., Business Administration, Northwood University
Mills is a strong advocate for gun rights, and is well known for a YouTube video from January 2013 in which he spoke out against Rep. Rick Nolan's position on gun control. Nolan, the current representative from Mills' district, wanted to crack down on assault weapons in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Mills responded with a video in which he compared the damage done by a shotgun to the damage done by a Huldra AR-15, saying that a shotgun was actually more destructive, and that limiting Second Amendment rights was not the proper solution to prevent school shootings.
Mills has not taken a position on same-sex marriage because "the state has already decided the issue."
Comments on ISIS
- See also: ISIS insurgency in Iraq and Syria
During the 2014 congressional elections, U.S. military involvement in the Middle East became an important topic of debate among congressional candidates. Unlike many U.S. congressmen from both parties, Rep. Rick Nolan (D) warned against taking military action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Nolan urged President Barack Obama not to make a unilateral decision to mobilize the military without the consent of Congress. On August 29, 2014, Nolan stated, "American blood and treasury should not be made without the full consideration by all 535 members of the Congress of the United States." He added, "When we get ourselves involved in that conflict, then we become a part of the problem and the solution becomes ours."
Shortly after making these comments, Nolan issued a statement regarding ISIS. Nolan wrote, "I encourage them to employ the same intelligence resources – and the same selective, highly effective means they used to bring down Osama Bin Laden. Special operations of this kind do not involve U.S. troops on the ground, the killing of innocent people, or the re-involvement of the United States in another terribly destructive, expensive, open-ended conflict in that region.”
Mills disagreed with Nolan, stating, "Like it or not we have to play some role here. And for Congressman Nolan to take those positions, I think, leaves America in an even weaker position than we have been in the past. We can't lead from behind. We have to lead."
According to a poll published in The Washington Post, the majority of voters' views align closer with Mills than Nolan on the issue of taking action in the Middle East. About 91 percent of voters believed ISIS to be a serious threat, and 71 percent supported the U.S. government ordering air strikes against the Sunni insurgents in Iraq.
Mills listed the following issues on his campaign website:
—Stewart Mills, campaign website archive
Mills' long hair caused a variety of responses from both the media and voters. Whereas some saw his hair as making him look youthful and attractive, others thought that it made him look immature and unprofessional. Regardless, it won him acclaim as the "Brad Pitt of the Republican Party." Mills was not concerned by the criticism, and embraced the differences between him and other candidates. In one interview, he compared himself with the typical candidate, stating, "I don’t look the part. I don’t shave every day, I have long hair, I don’t necessarily want to wear a suit unless I have to. I don’t feel comfortable with cookie-cutter molds of what is considered a traditional candidate." While this image could have helped him in his bid against incumbent Rick Nolan, Mills also ran the risk of voters focusing more on his appearance than the political message of his campaign. His solution was to focus his energy on a serious campaign, while letting others "promote the novelty of it."
The 8th Congressional District of Minnesota held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014. Challengers Stewart Mills (R) and Ray "Skip" Sandman (G) were defeated by incumbent Rick Nolan (D) in the general election. None of the candidates faced challengers in the primary election on August 12, 2014.
Minnesota's 8th was considered a battleground district in 2014. Nolan won his seat in 2012 with an 8.9 percent margin of victory, and President Barack Obama (D) won the district in 2012 by only 5.5 percent. Nolan was first elected in 2012, and representatives serving their first term are often more vulnerable than long-time incumbents. In addition, Minnesota's 8th district was redrawn in 2011, which could have significantly altered the ratio of Democratic and Republican voters. In 2013, Politico reported that Nolan was vulnerable in this competitive race.
|U.S. House, Minnesota District 8 General Election, 2014|
|Democratic||Rick Nolan Incumbent||48.5%||129,090|
|Source: Minnesota Secretary of State|
The National Republican Congressional Committee added Mills to their "On the Radar" list in November 2013. According to the NRCC, candidates that made this list were set to receive "...the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents."
Criticism of Nolan
Mills received the following endorsements:
- Sixteen Minnesota state legislators, including Kurt Daudt, Michelle Benson, Sean Nienow and Carrie Ruud
- The Minnesota Gun Owners PAC
- Minnesota's 8th Congressional District Republicans
- Mills released his first television ad in May 2014, discussing his history with Mills Fleet Farm and how his experience has affected his views on Obamacare.
- In a June 2014 campaign ad, Mills' wife praises him for his community involvement, including the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event to raise money for victims of domestic violence.
- In July 2014, the House Majority PAC released an ad attacking Mills for arguing against raising the minimum wage and wanting tax breaks for the wealthy. This ad was taken off of two television stations after complaints that it was misleading due to a spliced video clip of Mills. In the video, Mills is quoted as saying, "Folks saying that 'the wealthy, the wealthy are not paying their fair share, the 2 percent, the 1 percent, whatever percent you want, is personally offensive," when in reality he had said, "To be singled out as a deadbeat is personally offensive." However, the PAC and their supporters shot back by accusing the stations of taking the ad down for political reasons. Stanley Hubbard, the owner of both stations, is a Republican and a supporter of the Koch brothers.
|Stewart Mills (2014) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
|October Quarterly||October 15, 2013||$0||$243,826.30||$(9,383.77)||$234,442.53|
|Year-End||January 31, 2014||$234,442.53||$205,263.98||$(133,416.76)||$306,289.75|
|April Quarterly||April 15, 2014||$306,289.75||$211,694.14||$(162,245.00)||$355,738.89|
|July Quarterly||July 15, 2014||$355,738.89||$476,495.08||$(403,129.10)||$429,104.87|
|Pre-Primary||July 31, 2014||$429,104.87||$81,093.00||$(153,579.89)||$356,617.98|
|October Quarterly||October 15, 2014||$356,617.98||$482,331.12||$(584,008.36)||$254,940.74|
|Pre-General||October 23, 2014||$254,940.74||$196,938.00||$(253,965.13)||$197,913.61|
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Stewart + Mills + Minnesota + Congress"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- United States House of Representatives
- Minnesota's 8th Congressional District elections, 2014
- Minnesota's 8th Congressional District
- Minnesota Public Radio, "Stewart Mills to run for 8th Dist. seat," accessed July 17, 2013
- Associated Press, "Minnesota - 2014 Primary Results," accessed August 12, 2014
- Politico, "House Elections Results," accessed November 11, 2014
- Stewart Mills for Congress, "About Stewart Mills," accessed March 17, 2014
- CBS Minnesota, "Grandson Of Fleet Farm Founder Eyes Congress Bid," June 26, 2013
- Roll Call, "Brad Pitt and Minnesota’s 8th District," June 10, 2013
- Star Tribune, "Mills Fleet Farm exec hopes to oust U.S. Rep. Nolan, D-Minn," June 26, 2013
- YouTube, "Duck Hunting Shotgun Proven To Be more Dangerous Than A Huldra AR-15," accessed March 18, 2014
- CBS Minnesota, "YouTube Video: Hunting Rifles More Dangerous Than Semi-Automatics," accessed March 18, 2014
- Pioneer Press, "Stewart Mills wins GOP endorsement for 8th District race against Rick Nolan," April 13, 2014
- Star Tribune, "Mills Fleet Farm executive to vie for Congress," June 5, 2013
- Northland News Center, "Rick Nolan urges President Obama to resist military involvement in Syria," accessed September 12, 2014
- Slate, "The ISIS-Bedwetter Watch Continues," accessed September 12, 2014
- Minnesota Public Radio News, "Strategy against Islamic State could play big in 8th District," accessed September 12, 2014
- The Washington Post, "Wide support for striking ISIS, but weak approval for Obama," accessed September 12, 2014
- Stewart Mills for Congress, "Issues," accessed October 1, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Politico, "The Brad Pitt of the Republican Party," accessed June 27, 2014
- Politico, "Ads hit vulnerable Dems on Obamacare," accessed December 26, 2013
- Roll Call, "House Republicans Put 36 Recruits ‘On the Radar’," accessed November 21, 2013
- NRCC Young Guns, "List," accessed March 20, 2014
- Politics in Minnesota, "Stewart Mills announces GOP endorsements for CD 8 bid," accessed November 23, 2013
- Stewart Mills for Congress, "Stewart Mills Announces the Endorsements of 16 Minnesota State Legislators," accessed May 24, 2014
- Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee, "Press Release: MN Gun Owners PAC endorses Stewart Mills for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District," accessed May 24, 2014 (dead link)
- Brainerd Dispatch, "Stewart Mills endorsed for Congress by 8th District GOP," accessed May 24, 2014
- YouTube, "In Her Shoes," accessed June 30, 2014
- YouTube, "MN-08: Stewart Mills - 'Personally Offensive.'," accessed July 31, 2014
- National Journal, "Democratic PAC Sees Koch Influence Behind Scuttled TV Ads," accessed July 31, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "Stewart Mills Summary Report," accessed April 23, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "Stewart Mills October Quarterly," accessed March 19, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "Stewart Mills Year-End," accessed March 19, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "Stewart Mills April Quarterly," accessed April 23, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "Stewart Mills July Quarterly," accessed November 20, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "Stewart Mills Pre-Primary," accessed November 20, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "Stewart Mills October Quarterly," accessed November 20, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "Stewart Mills Pre-General," accessed November 20, 2014