The DFL candidates running in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District tried to distinguish themselves in a debate Tuesday based on experience rather than their stands on the issues.
All three have held public office before. Jeff Anderson was a Duluth city councilman, Tarryl Clark a state senator and Rick Nolan has served in Congress. At the Duluth Chamber of Commerce debate, Clark said she learned in the state Legislature how to build relationships and work across the aisle.
"We have got to be working together with people who at least at face value look like we have nothing in common with," Clark said. "The joke in my household is I will work with a rock if a rock wants to work back with me."
All said they support the president's health care overhaul, limiting the influence of money in elections and more spending on education and transportation. With few differences on the issues, the candidates also tried to differentiate themselves based on style.
"I may not give the fieriest speeches on the campaign trail and I didn't move here to run for office," said Anderson. "This is my home, this has always been my home, it will always be my home and I'm concerned about the future of this district."
Nolan, who served in Congress back in the 1970s, said if Democrats regain control of Congress he'd be eligible to chair a transportation subcommittee.
"Transportation is so critical, so important, for our business, for our comfort, for our future," Nolan said. "That's where I want to spend the preponderance of my work if elected to the Congress."
Money could play a key role in this toss-up race. Clark has raised by far the most money. The primary is next Tuesday. The winner will take on Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack.