Rick Nolan

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Rick Nolan
Rick Nolan.jpg
U.S. House, Minnesota, District 8
In office
January 3, 2013-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 1
PredecessorChip Cravaack (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Cost per vote$6.41 in 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next primaryAugust 12, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$1,252,092
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives, Minnesota
Minnesota House
High schoolBrainerd High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Minnesota
J.D.Georgetown Law School
BirthdayDecember 17, 1943
Place of birthBrainerd, Minnesota
ProfessionBusiness Owner
Net worth$1,105,504
Office website
Campaign website
Rick Nolan campaign logo
Rick Nolan (b.December 17, 1943, in Brainerd, Minnesota) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House, representing the 8th Congressional District of Minnesota. He was first elected in 2012. He defeated incumbent Chip Cravaack (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[1]

He is running for re-election to the U.S. House to represent the 8th Congressional District of Minnesota in 2014.[2]

Nolan is one of nine individuals elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 who have prior congressional experience. He served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 1974 to 1980.[3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Nolan is a more moderate left of center Democratic Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Democratic Party line more than his fellow members.


Upon graduating from Brainerd High School in 1962, he attended St. John's University and then completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota in 1966. In addition to pursuing postgraduate work in public administration and policy formation at the University of Maryland, he also served as a staff assistant to Walter Mondale in the U.S. Senate.[4][5]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Nolan's academic, professional and political career:

  • Social studies teacher in Royalton, MN, schools (1968-1972)[4]
  • Former president of Emily Forest Products, a sawmill and pallet factory in Emily, MN[6]
  • President of the Minnesota World Trade Center in St. Paul, MN (1987-1994)[4]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Nolan serves on the following committees:[7]

Key votes

113th Congress


The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[8] For more information pertaining to Nolan's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[9]

National security

American response in Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

More than one hundred House lawmakers signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to call Congress back into session if he plans to use military force in Syria.[10]

Rep. Scott Rigell wrote in the letter in August 2013 that “engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”[10][11]

The letter notes that the lawmakers believe Obama should have asked Congress for permission when he sent cruise missiles and bombs into Libya. “If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missles, 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute ‘hostilities,’ what does?” the signers ask.[11]

“If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request,” the letter reads. “We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict.”[11]

Ninety-eight of the signers of the letter were Republicans. Nolan was one of eighteen Democratic members to sign the letter.[11]

On August 29, 2013, more than 50 House Democrats signed a letter written by California Rep. Barbara Lee that called for a congressional resolution on strikes, and cautioned that the dire situation in Syria "should not draw us into an unwise war—especially without adhering to our constitutional requirements."[11][12] The letter also called on the Obama administration to work with the U.N. Security Council “to build international consensus” condemning the alleged use of chemical weapons. Nolan was 1 of the 50 Democrats in the House to sign the letter.[11][12]


Voted "No" Nolan voted in opposition of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[13]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "No" Nolan voted in opposition of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[13]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "No" Nolan voted against of House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[13]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "No" Nolan voted in opposition of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[14] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[13]


2013 Farm Bill

Voted "No" Nolan opposed the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013. In a speech on the House floor on July 11, 2013, Nolan explained his vote. He said, "I am privileged to sit on the Agriculture Committee. During the markup of the farm bill earlier this year, my colleagues and I discussed and debated and deliberated for ten hours on every provision of this bill.

That bill included critical reform of the dairy program, reauthorization of the Rural Broadband program, as well as important provisions for organic producers, beginning farmers and ranchers, conservationists, and the forestry industry.

We reached a bipartisan consensus and 36 of us--myself included--cast a vote in support of the legislation.

Then, on the floor, the legislation was systematically dismantled, piece by piece, until it was barely recognizable as the same farm bill that came out of committee. It was no surprise that this bill failed."[15]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "No" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[16] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[17] Nolan voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[16]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[18] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Nolan voted for HR 2775.[19]


Immigration Executive Order

Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Nolan voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[20] The vote largely followed party lines.[21]



Voted "No" Nolan opposed repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Healthcare-Related Provisions in the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[22]

Social issues

SNAP challenge

See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

In June 2013, more than two dozen House Democrats, including Nolan, took part in a SNAP challenge, feeding themselves for a week on the average benefit level of a SNAP recipient.[23]

The SNAP Challenge encouraged participants to get a sense of what life is like for millions of low-income Americans facing hunger. By accepting the SNAP Challenge, participants committed to eat all meals from a limited food budget comparable to that of a SNAP participant, approximately $1.50 per meal, or $4.50 a day.[24]


Voted "No" Nolan opposed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits abortions after 20 weeks.[22]


On The Issues Vote Match

Rick Nolan's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of all Congressional members based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Nolan is a Populist-Leaning Liberal. Nolan received a score of 73 percent on personal issues and 23 percent on economic issues.[25]

On The Issues organization logo.
On The Issues Vote Quiz
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Opposes Human needs over animal rights Strongly Favors
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Unknown
Support & expand free trade Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Unknown Expand the military Strongly Opposes
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Neutral Stay out of Iran Strongly Favors
Privatize Social Security Strongly Opposes Never legalize marijuana Unknown
Note: Information last updated in 2014.[25]

Campaign themes


The campaign issues below were featured on Nolan's website.[26]

  • Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Excerpt: "With 8th District unemployment at over 10% (not counting the thousands of discouraged Minnesotans who have quit looking for jobs) we need a congressman who knows how to meet a payroll and balance a budget."[26]

  • Rebuilding America and Jobs

Excerpt: "Rebuilding America’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, wastewater treatment, mass transit and high-speed light-rail, would improve our quality of life, create millions of good paying jobs, and strengthen our economy. We can pay for this by ending the Bush tax cuts and loopholes for the rich, and by pulling back our military footprint in countries like Japan that pose no threat to us whatsoever."[26]

  • Medicare

Excerpt: "Don’t turn Medicare into a voucher system for insurance companies, which will mean higher costs and less treatment."[26]

  • Social Security

Excerpt: "Social Security is a compact with the American people that must be honored. Don’t turn it over to Wall Street. Stabilize the Social Security Fund for generations to come by requiring the very rich to pay Social Security taxes on a higher percentage of their income."[26]

  • Education for America’s Future

Excerpt: "Fix a broken college loan system that saddles many graduates with crushing debt they will spend most of their working lives attempting to repay. Higher education must be a right for all – not simply a privilege for the well off."[26]

  • Support the ERA for Women

Excerpt: "America has come a long way in advancing civil rights for all citizens. Yet women still face significant gender discrimination in a host of areas including education, employment, health care, pensions and social security benefits."[26]

  • Wars in the Middle East

Excerpt: "America is deeply involved in expensive wars with no apparent plan for winning them or concluding them. We need to devote those resources to jobs and the economy here at home. So bring the troops home now."[26]



See also: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District elections, 2014

Nolan is running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He is seeking the Democratic nomination in the primary election on August 12, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.


See also: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District elections, 2012

Nolan ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Minnesota's 8th District. He defeated Jeff Anderson and Tarryl Clark in the August 14 Democratic primary.[27] He defeated Chip Cravaack (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[1][28]

U.S. House, Minnesota District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRick Nolan 54.3% 191,976
     Republican Chip Cravaack Incumbent 45.4% 160,520
     NA Write-in 0.3% 1,167
Total Votes 353,663
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
Minnesota's 8th Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRick Nolan 38.3% 20,839
Tarryl Clark 32.3% 17,540
Jeff Anderson 29.4% 15,978
Total Votes 54,357


The following organizations and individuals below endorsed Nolan for the 2012 election:[29]

  • Walter Mondale
  • Governor Mark Dayton
  • Congressman Jim Oberstar
  • Democratic Party’s 8th District, Minnesota
  • Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Nolan is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Nolan raised a total of $1,256,440 during that time period. This information was last updated on June 17, 2013.[30]

Rick Nolan's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 8) Won $1,256,440
Grand Total Raised $1,256,440


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Nolan's reports.[31]

Rick Nolan (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[32]April 26, 2013$26,207.62$120,703.67$(27,972.83)$118,938.46
July Quarterly[33]July 15, 2013$118,938.00$134,764.34$(59,126.31)$194,576.03
October Quarterly[34]October 15, 2013$194,576.49$129,472.26$(62,989.02)$261,059.73
Year-End Quarterly[35]December 31, 2013$261,059$143,147$(94,514)$298,061
April Quarterly[36]April 15, 2014$315,001.22$265,772.54$(102,557.79)$478,215.97
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Nolan's campaign funds before the 2012 election.
Nolan won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Nolan's campaign committee raised a total of $1,256,440 and spent $1,230,232.[37]

Cost per vote

Nolan spent $6.41 per vote received in 2012.

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have personally benefited from their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics pioneered by the Government Accountability Institute:

  • The Net Worth Metric
  • The K-Street Metric (coming soon)
  • The Donation Concentration Metric (coming soon)
  • The Stock Oversight and Trades Metric (coming soon)

PGI: Net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Nolan's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $696,008 and $1,515,000. That averages to $1,105,504, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Nolan ranked as the 200th most wealthy representative in 2012.[38] Between 2011 and 2012, Nolan's calculated net worth[39] decreased by an average of 4 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[40]

Rick Nolan Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2011 to 2012:-4%
Average annual growth:-4%[41]
Comparatively, the average citizen experienced a yearly decline in net worth of 0.94%.[42]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership, and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[43]

Nolan most often votes with:

Nolan least often votes with:

Voting with party


The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Nolan has voted with the Democratic Party 91.3% of the time, which ranked 162nd among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[44]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Nolan missed 703 of 4,156 roll call votes from January 1975 to April 2013, which is 16.9% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[45]


Nolan is married to Mary. They have children and grandchildren. He hunts, harvests wild rice, boils maple syrup and enjoys fishing.[6]

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Rick Nolan News Feed

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See also

External links

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  1. 1.0 1.1 ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," accessed November 7, 2012
  2. Minnesota Secretary of State, "2014 State General Election Candidate Filings," accessed June 11, 2014
  3. The New York Times, "Election brings seasoned politicians to congress," accessed December 8, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, "NOLAN, Richard Michael," accessed March 18, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 Minnesota Legislators Past & Present, "Nolan, Richard Michael," accessed March 18, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 Rick Nolan for Congress, "Who's Rick Nolan?," accessed March 18, 2014
  7. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  9. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Yahoo, "65 Lawmakers Ask Obama to Consult on Syria," accessed August 28, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Politico, "33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action," accessed August 28, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 Washington Post, "More than 50 House Democrats also want Syria strike resolution," accessed September 2, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Rick Nolan's Voting Records on National Security," accessed September 26, 2013
  14. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  15. Project Vote Smart, "Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 Floor Speech," accessed September 12, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  18. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  19. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  20. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  21. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Rick Nolan's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed September 26, 2013
  22. 22.0 22.1 Project Vote Smart, "Nolan on the issues," accessed September 12, 2013
  23. U.S. House.gov, "Full Member List of Congressional Snap Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013
  24. Feeding America, "Taking the SNAP Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013
  25. 25.0 25.1 On The Issues, "Rick Nolan Vote Match," accessed June 17, 2014
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 26.6 26.7 Rick Nolan for Congress, "Rick on the Issues," accessed October 10, 2012
  27. CBS, "Primary Results 2012," accessed May 30, 2013
  28. Associated Press, "Minnesota - Summary Vote Results"
  29. Rick Nolan for Congress, "Rick in the News," accessed October 10, 2012
  30. OpenSecrets, "Rick Nolan," accessed May 16, 2013
  31. Federal Election Commission, "Nolan 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 18, 2013
  32. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
  33. FEC, "July Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
  34. FEC, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  35. FEC, "Year-End Quarterly," accessed February 11, 2014
  36. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed May 16, 2014
  37. OpenSecrets, "2012 Re-Election Cycle," accessed February 15, 2013
  38. OpenSecrets, "Rick Nolan (D-MN), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  39. This figure represents the average annual percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below) to 2012, divided by the number of years calculated.
  40. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  41. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  42. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  43. OpenCongress, "Rick Nolan," accessed August 5, 2013
  44. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed June 6, 2013
  45. GovTrack, "Rick Nolan," accessed April 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Chip Cravaack
U.S. House of Representatives - Minnesota District 8
Succeeded by