Collin Peterson to seek 15th term in Congress

Peterson represents one of the most conservative House districts represented by a Democrat.
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Rep. Collin Peterson will seek a 15th term in the House of Representatives, but the congressman will face tough opposition in one of the most conservative seats in the country currently held by a Democrat.

After months of speculation as to whether he would seek re-election, Peterson made the announcement Friday that he will run to represent Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District.

He stated the decision was difficult given how “polarized” the country is right now. The chair of the House Agriculture Committee, Peterson said it’s important to have Democratic representation in rural districts.

“There aren’t many like me left in Congress. Rural Democrats are few and far between and I’m concerned that rural America is getting left behind,” Peterson said in a statement. 

"I’m focused not just on agriculture, but on helping our rural health care facilities, lowering interest rates on student loan debt, taking care of our veterans, and making sure we have good roads and good broadband access across rural Minnesota."

In his statement, Peterson also stressed his work on past farm bills and other rural policies.

President Donald Trump won the 7th Congressional District by 31 points in 2016, and GOP leadership has repeatedly expressed interest in turning the state red in 2020.

Peterson has also gone against party lines at times, being one of only two House Democrats to vote against articles of impeachment

n January, Peterson was also one of two Democrats to sign an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Running against Peterson on the Republican side is former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach. Fischbach, endorsed by Trump, is a vocal critic of Peterson.

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Minnesotans in Congress vote party line

Most members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation have voted with the their party more than 90 percent of the time. That's not unusual – nearly three-quarters of all members of Congress vote with their party that often, MinnPost reports. But there is an outlier: Rep. Collin Peterson, one of Congress’s most moderate Democrats, who sides with his party just 57 percent of the time.