Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 4th Congressional District

In the 4th District, Republican challenger Gene Rechtzigel will take on incumbent Betty McCollum.
Publish date:

Bring Me The News is looking at each of Minnesota's nine congressional races (nine House, one Senate) in the lead-up to Nov. 3.

Today we look at the 4th Congressional District, which includes the city of St. Paul and surrounding suburbs in Ramsey and Washington counties.

Who's running?

  • Rep. Betty McCollum (D-inc)
  • Gene Rechtzigel (R)
  • Susan Sindt (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis)

The seat is currently held by Congresswoman Betty McCollum, who has held the position since 2001. In 2018, voters in the 4th Congressional District reelected McCollum with 66% of the vote.

District map

Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 8.59.10 AM

What happened last time?

McCollum comfortably beat Republican challenger Greg Ryan and Sindt, gaining 66% of the vote in the solidly blue district.

The race so far:

The race for the 4th District has been comparatively quiet in comparison to some of Minnesota's other, more competitive districts.

McCollum, first elected in 2000, easily won her primary in August with 84% of the vote, but Rechtzigel came from nowhere to take the GOP nomination.

As self-described "self-employed farmer, property manager, self-taught legal expert," Rechtzigel didn't receive the GOP endorsement for the district, but nonetheless triumphed over Sia Lo, albeit in a low-turnout primary.

Where do the candidates stand?

In her most recent term, McCollum has been outspoken about her opposition to mining in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. She currently chairs the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, where she oversees $35 billion in spending. Her Interior-Environment appropriations bill also banned oil drilling off the coast of Florida and the Atlantic seaboard.

She has also been a critic of Israeli military actions in Palestine. She authored a bill in 2019 that would prevent the U.S. from funding actions that detain Palestinian children and families.

McCollum told WCCO she favors more federal funding for law enforcement, but called for increased accountability. Her website contains her positions on a comprehensive list of issues, which you can find here.

Rechtzigel's website front page is dominated by  an attack on McCollum over the long-term PFAS pollution of the east metro, for which 3M paid out a significant settlement in recent years.

He also pitches his own healthcare policy, which he calls "Genecare," that is aimed at expanding choice of healthcare providers, and at its basic level gives residents a $4,800 annual payment so people can have their choice of "preventive and/or alternative care providers, including traditional Chinese medicine."

His "issues" page includes a policy that is typically associated with progressive positions, calling for proportional representation in the Senate and repealing the 17th Amendment, while his site also has a "Political Zombie Page" that contains attacks on former Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and McCollum.

According to Sindt's campaign website, Sindt advocates for single-payer healthcare and tuition-free higher education. She is the owner of Simply Vapour in Maplewood and a former public school teacher.

The Grassroots - Legalize Cannabis party gained major party status in Minnesota after the 2018 Midterm elections.

Sindt told WCCO that she believes racial disparities in the state and across the country can start to be addressed by legalizing recreational marijuana use. She also spoke in favor of government-subsidized broadband internet in rural areas. 

Next Up

Shayne Munich

Minneapolis police appeal for help finding missing man

Shayne Munich is described as a vulnerable adult.

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 6.26.50 PM

Minnesota nurse's story about her battle with COVID-19 goes viral

A month later, Ashley Walter is on a hard road to recovery.

Adam Thielen

Report: Still on COVID-19 list, Thielen not expected to play Sunday

Thielen was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list on Monday.

Image from iOS (19)

Mask-wearing, distancing a common sight on MOA's Black Friday

Thousands of shoppers were out and about on Black Friday despite the COVID-19 situation.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz, MDH react to record-setting COVID-19 deaths

Minnesota can expect further bad news over the coming weeks.

covid-19, coronavirus

Record 101 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota

The figures are from Wednesday, with no update provided on Thanksgiving.

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 9.29.12 AM

Target reveals its 'Cyber Week' online deals

The sales will run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.

Minneapolis police

Mayor Frey, Minneapolis police chief reveal new 'no-knock' policy

The new policy for Minneapolis Police Department was announced Wednesday.

Teddy Bridgewater

Coller: It's a what-if Sunday with Teddy Bridgewater's return

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Ambulance hospital emergency

15-month-old girl's death being investigated by police in Fargo

The child died four days after being found unresponsive.


Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 8.13.55 AM

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 5th Congressional District

First-term incumbent Ilhan Omar will face Republican challenger Lacy Johnson.

Screen Shot 2020-10-26 at 3.49.05 PM

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 6th Congressional district

Democrat Tawnja Zahradka challenges three-term Rep. Tom Emmer in the heavily Republican district.

Hagedorn feehan

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 1st Congressional District

It's a race between incumbent Rep. Jim Hagedorn and Democratic challenger Dan Feehan.

pete stauber - qunn nystrom CD8

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District

It's a race between incumbent Rep. Pete Stauber and Democratic challenger Quinn Nystrom.

Phillips qualls

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District

It's a race between Democratic incumbent Rep. Dean Phillips and political newcomer and Republican Kendall Qualls.


Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District

Democrat freshman Rep. Angie Craig vies against Republican Tyler Kistner

peterson fischbach

Elections 2020 preview: 7th Congressional District

Will Collin Peterson hang on for yet another term?

Jason Lewis and Tina Smith

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's Senate race

Incumbent Tina Smith will take on former Congressman Jason Lewis.