Joe Radinovich won't run for Congress in 2020, he announced Friday, leaving Republican Rep. Pete Stauber unopposed 15 months ahead of the election.
The Crosby-born Democrat, who lost to Stauber in the 2018 race to replace retiring Rep. Rick Nolan, wrote on Facebook that he will instead focus on his family.
"Minnesota’s 8th District is my home, and it deserves a representative who is an independent voice on behalf of those fighting to provide for themselves and their families in a rapidly changing economy," he wrote. "I’ll pledge my time and efforts in 2020 to the candidate who can best make sure that it gets one."
Stauber, of Hermantown, beat Radinovich by 5 percentage points and flipped the geographically massive Northeastern Minnesota congressional district Republican even as Democrats nationwide won a majority in the House. Millions in outside spending poured into the race, and President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both visited Duluth on Stauber's behalf during the campaign.
At this point in the 2018 election campaign, Stauber had already announced his candidacy.
Radinovich was probably not the Democrats' first choice after he resigned from a position at the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation in April after a fast-tracked hiring came under scrutiny over potential cronyism.