DULUTH  (AP) -- Republican Pete Stauber has captured a once solidly Democratic northeastern Minnesota congressional district that swung hard for President Donald Trump in 2016.

Stauber beat Democratic former state lawmaker Joe Radinovich to flip the seat back to the GOP for the first time since 2012. The seat opened up when Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan announced he wouldn't run for a fourth term.

Minnesota's 8th District was a rare bright spot for Republicans in an otherwise bleak year for the GOP. The area was once considered a Democratic lock but has been trending toward Republicans. Trump carried the district by 15 points.

Stauber is a St. Louis County commissioner and retired police officer. He branded Radinovich as out-of-step with an increasingly Republican-leaning district.