Stauber starts off on right foot

When Pete Stauber announced he was going to run for Rep. Rick Nolan’s seat in Congress, he did so on the front steps of the Ely City Hall.
It was back in July and after starting in his hometown of Hermantown, Stauber came to Ely.
“I drove up here because Ely and the Iron Range matter,” Stauber said.
The question that day was would Stauber matter in a race that heavily favored the incumbent with a well-financed Republican likely to jump back in for another run.
All of that changed when Nolan announced he wasn’t running, followed by Stewart Mills. Instead of running on a prayer, Stauber became the front runner.
On Monday he returned to Ely as U.S. Representative-Elect Pete Stauber and participated in a legislative meeting with area elected officials. He was the only federal official to show up.
Is this a sign Ely will have as good of a relationship with our new Republican House member as we did with Democrat Nolan? We sure hope so.
Other than parades and a ribbon cutting, our two U.S. Senators have delegated their Ely visits to staffers. Stauber is off to a good start by coming up here to listen to area concerns. He took notes and participated in the wide-ranging discussion.
We appreciated Rick Nolan’s willingness to talk politics and life whenever he was in the area. Like any politician we didn’t see eye to eye with him on every issue but there wasn’t ever a time that Nolan didn’t make sure to communicate with us on matters involving Ely.
We would extend the same invitation to Stauber as he makes his move to Washington D.C. Our advice to Stauber is to keep up the Nolan tradition of finding out information first hand, whether it be at a small town newspaper office, a legislative meeting or a coffee shop.
We realize that the Eighth District is going to have a tough time being heard in D.C. With our two Democrat Senators working in a Republican controlled environment and Stauber walking into a new Democrat controlled House, we aren’t going to be at the top of the food chain.
Yet Nolan found ways to get things done and advocate for issues that affect the Eighth District when he was in D.C. He worked behind the scenes to push for PolyMet, something that is still needed for that project to succeed.
By coming to Ely on Monday, Stauber showed he is a Congressman for the entire Eighth District, not just the counties he won in his victory over Joe Radinovich.
Two years will fly by and Stauber can do himself some favors by building relationships across the district and letting voters know he is interested in their concerns and will fight for what’s right.
Those relationships will pay off in the ballot box in 2020. They did for Nolan and they will for Stauber.
Ely matters, according to Pete Stauber. If he keeps that in mind, we think he’ll be a good Congressman.