Stewart Mills, the grandson of the founder of Mills Fleet Farm, is exploring a run for Congress in northeast Minnesota.
Mills kicked off his exploratory run today at a Duluth small business, where he said his campaign will focus on the economy.
"We have very high unemployment int he 8th district, and I know through my lifelong involvement in my family's business the hurdles, the barriers, and the handicaps that are placed upon us in job creation through government," Mills said.
A political newcomer, Mills, 41, lives in the Brainerd area and has worked in his family's business since he was 14, now as vice president. He said a campaign focused on jobs and the economy and a respect for the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment can win in the traditionally Democratic district.
"I think people are opening up their eyes and realizing the Republican party has a very big tent and I have a very different message," Mills said. "I'm a non-traditional Republican, and I think people will be attracted to that."
With his long, shoulder length locks, Mills doesn't look like a traditional politician.
"And I'm not going to cut my hair," he said.
Mills is the first Republican to announce a campaign in the 8th District. If Mills wins the Republican nomination, he would take on DFLer Rick Nolan, who defeated Chip Cravaack last November.