REGIONAL– Congressman Rick Nolan may face a primary challenge from a DFLer with Iron Range roots who says she represents “the next generation” of Democrat. Leah Phifer, of Isanti, has launched …
REGIONAL– Congressman Rick Nolan may face a primary challenge from a DFLer with Iron Range roots who says she represents “the next generation” of Democrat. Leah Phifer, of Isanti, has launched an 80-day “listening tour” on motorcycle to explore a possible challenge of the 73-year-old Nolan for the Eighth District seat.
“I’ve been riding for 15 years, and there’s nothing like a bike to break down barriers and start conversations,” she said.
Phifer, who grew up in Two Harbors, spent summers on One Pine Lake, near Ely. She moved to Isanti following high school, and says living in different parts of the district has given her a broader understanding of the needs of the region.
“The 2016 election exposed a troubling truth: Too many members of our community feel overlooked and unheard,” she said. “I’ve been fortunate to be a resident of different communities here. The issues that affect Isanti are often different from those on the Iron Range. In a district this big, you have to take the time to listen and understand each community’s unique situation.”
Phifer said she views the current political environment as an opportunity to engage residents in planning for the long-term security of the district. “There is no better time than now for the next generation of Democrats to lead our communities into the future, especially in rural areas,” says Phifer.
Security is a key concern for Phifer. A graduate of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Phifer has dedicated her career to national security in Minnesota for nearly a decade. She served at the Department of Homeland Security in 2008 before working in counter-terrorism for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
More information, including tour stops and how to request a visit, can be found at www.aroundthe8thin80days. com. You can also follow Phifer’s journey on Facebook (@aroundthe8th), Twitter (@aroundthe8th) and Instagram (aroundthe8th).