Former 2014 GOP candidate for the 8th Congressional District Stewart Mills announced Saturday he is forming an exploratory committee to weigh whether to run again.

The announcement came at a 8th District GOP event in Duluth. Mills lost a close race to incumbent Democrat Rep. Rick Nolan, who he will battle again if Mills ultimately decides to enter the 2016 race.

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Star Tribune blogger Michael Brodkorb was one of the first to break the news. Mills told the Star Tribune he was forming the exploratory committee with the goal of making an announcement in mid-October whether or not he will actually run, "if everything comes together."

8th District GOP Chair Ted Lovdahl confirmed the committee announcement to the Dispatch. He said it got a standing ovation from the crowd of Republicans at the Sixth Annual Reagan Dinner on Saturday.

"It was fantastic," Lovdahl said. "I'm very, very pleased."

ZACH KAYSER may be reached at 218-855-5860 or Zach.Kayser@brainerddispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ZWKayser.