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Phifer exploring run for 8th District seat

Leah Phifer

Leah Phifer, who has worked in national security in Minnesota for nearly a decade, is eying the 8th Congressional District seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, DFL-Crosby.

Phifer, an Isanti resident who grew up in Two Harbors, announced on Thursday that she will spend 80 days touring the 8th District to explore a run as a DFL candidate in the district in 2018.

Nolan recently announced that he will not run for governor of Minnesota next year, but has yet to announce whether he'll seek re-election next year to represent the district in Congress. Ray "Skip" Sandman announced his candidacy for the seat last month.

Phifer said in a statement that she views the current political environment as a unique opportunity to engage residents in planning for the district's long-term security. Phifer is a graduate of the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs and began working at the Department of Homeland Security in 2008 before moving to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"There is no better time than now for the next generation of Democrats to lead our communities into the future, especially in rural areas," Phifer said.

She said she has seen many sides of the district while living in Two Harbors and Isanti.

"The 2016 election exposed a troubling truth: Too many members of our community feel overlooked and unheard," she said. "The issues that affect Isanti are often different from those in the Iron Range. In a district this big, you have to take the time to listen and understand each community's unique situation."