Like many Americans, Pete Stauber is frustrated by federal leaders who don’t advance legislation that's in the best interest of residents. Monday, the Duluth Police lieutenant and St. Louis County Commissioner said he hopes to change that.
During a press conference in Hermantown, Stauber announced he will challenge incumbent Rep. Rick Nolan for the 8th District Congressional seat. Stauber, 51, will seek the Republican endorsement. It's not to advance the priorities of one political party or the other but to move the entire country forward, he said.
“I cannot and will not stand by and see this great country be destroyed. The values and interests we all share on Main Street Minnesota must be brought to Washington, D.C.,” Stauber told a large crowd of supporters. “I believe my views, my convictions, my blue collar background and leadership experience align with the vast majority of voters.”
He was an eight-year member of the Hermantown City Council before being elected to the county board in 2012 and reelected in 2016. Earlier in his life, Stauber briefly played professional hockey for the Detroit Red Wings.
Stauber has also owned the Duluth Hockey Co. (formerly Stauber Brothers Hockey) for about 27 years and believes small business needs greater support in Washington.
“We need to bring back good paying American jobs and we must encourage the entrepreneurial spirit. The small business owner must be celebrated. We must understand that overburdened, excessive and overlapping federal legislation forced upon them is contrary to supporting small business. Two-thirds of our economy is small business,” he said.
Stauber also expressed strong support for Minnesota mining and those who serve in the military.
“I fully support and will not tiptoe around the fact that I support responsible taconite and precious metals mining. We are richly blessed with these minerals. With the stringent environmental reviews and assessments and using science based facts, we can and will mine both taconite and precious metals without compromising our environment. There does not need to be a division between good-paying mining jobs and our environment. Our commonalities far outweigh our differences,” he said.
His wife Jodi is an Iraq war veteran and retired from the 148th Fighter Wing as Minnesota’s first female Command Chief. The couple has four children, ranging in ages from 11 to 17.
“My children, my wife and I have lived the sacrifice and hardship of deployment. I can promise our veterans and military families you will have no better advocate for the benefits that you’ve earned and are entitled to than Pete Stauber."
A lieutenant and West Area commander with the Duluth Police Department, Stauber said he has been a victim of a violent gun crime.
“In December of 1995, I was shot in the head while off-duty by an individual with an extended criminal history,” said Stauber. “A few years after that, while on duty, I was looking down the barrel of a handgun when the suspect pulled the trigger and, by the grace of God, the gun malfunctioned. Even after being a victim of a violent crime, I still adamantly support the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms.”
After 22 years of employment with the Duluth Police Department, he intends to retire soon, according to his campaign.
“Before I ask for your vote, I want to earn it,” he said. “Let’s take the best that God has given us, make the most of it and know that there is nothing that we can’t do together.”
Stauber grew up in Duluth’s Piedmont Heights neighborhood with his five brothers. He graduated from Duluth Denfeld High School in 1984 and then attended Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste Marie, Mich. As captain of the Lakers’ hockey squad, Stauber was part of its Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey championship team in 1988. It was at Lake Superior State where he earned his BA degree in criminal justice with a minor in fire science.
After graduation, he signed a contract with the Detroit Red Wings. He played hockey with the organization for three years before retiring and moving back to Minnesota in 1994. For several years, he was a coach in Hermantown’s Youth Hockey Association and was founder of “Stauber Brothers’ Military Heroes Hockey Camp,” which enabled children of military families to attend the hockey camp free of charge.
Stauber is currently president of Law Enforcement Labor Services Local 363.