Rick is a father and grandfather, married to Mary Nolan for 30 years, and born and raised on the Cuyuna Iron Range in Minnesota’s 8th District. He is successful small-business owner who created jobs throughout northern Minnesota from the sawmill and pallet factory he owned in Emily. Rick is a lifelong hunter and fisherman, who harvests wild rice in the fall, boils maple syrup in spring, and never misses a fishing opener.
In Congress, Rick has fought to Expand the middle class by:
· Raising the national minimum wage to a wage people can live on;
· Supporting Minnesotan mining by enabling critical projects on the Iron Range to move forward – and making sure they adhere to our nation’s strictest environmental and safety standards;
· Promoting northern Minnesota’s timber industry and the jobs it supports with an amendment to the Farm Bill encouraging the use of forest products as environmentally friendly building material;
· Stamping “Made in America” on all U.S. pipelines. Rick has introduced legislation to require that pipelines built in the United States use iron ore that is mined, processed, or reprocessed in America
· Protect Social Security & Medicare, opposing any attempt to privatize it or hand it over to private insurance companies.
· Defend and expand veterans benefits by voting to double funding at the VA to do away with the notorious backlog in claims processing; expand access to health care for vets who live in rural areas; and broaden the type of care veterans can receive (to services like chiropractic care and treatment for PTSD and Agent Orange).
· End wars of choice in foreign nations like Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Rick’s measure to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on unnecessary Afghanistan construction projects was passed by the House of Representatives in a recent Defense bill, and his advocacy was featured in TIME Magazine.
· Put a stop to government waste by advocating for the elimination of a redundant USDA inspection program that costs taxpayers $170 million a year. Rick also introduced a bill during the government shutdown in October 2013 to prevent Members of Congress from getting paid while the government wasn’t operating.
· Protect our lakes, rivers, and streams, as well as tourism and fishing jobs with his amendment in the Water Resources bill preventing the spread of invasive species like Asian carp and zebra mussels.
· "Top Ten Most Effective" member Congress by the Washington Post
· A “Most Respected” Member of US Congress (1975-1981) by nationally syndicated columnist and Congressional critic, Jack Anderson
· Former member of State House of Representatives for 8th District’s Morrison County
· “Presidential Commission on World Hunger”, Chief Congressional sponsor and Presidential appointee to Commission
· “Rural Development Policy Act”, Chief Congressional Sponsor
· Member of House Agriculture Committee responsible for food, nutrition, agricultural production, and agricultural finance programs;
· Chairman of Family Farms and Rural Development Agriculture Subcommittee, and member of Dairy Subcommittee and Livestock and Feed Grains Subcommittee
· Negotiated American Political Prisoner Release and Agricultural Exchange with Cuban President Fidel Castro
· “Bread for the World Distinguished Service Award “, Recipient
· “Brilliant and effective” as described by Minneapolis Star Tribune
· Former Chairman, president & CEO of Minnesota World Trade Center Corp. credited by the World Trade Magazine for helping generate Minnesota jobs and expand exports
· 31 years International Business experience exporting American made goods and services, generating U.S. jobs, selling U.S. products, setting up distributorships, joint ventures, partnerships, agency relationships, business training and finance for U.S. Companies
· Former president/owner/CEO of Emily Forest Products- sawmill & pallet manufacturer in Emily, MN, Planted over 100,000 trees
· Emily Forest Products planted over 100,000 trees while in Rick’s ownership
In the Community
· Former president of Central Lakes College Foundation raising scholarship money for economically disadvantaged students of all ages
· National Township Officer’s Association Citizen of the Year
· Former Minnesota State DFL Vice Chair
· Chairman, Mission Township Planning Committee