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Despite frustration with Congress, Rep. Peterson to run again


Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., on Monday announced that he'll run for a 13th term in the U.S. House.

"I still have a lot of work to do," Peterson said in a release, the Star Tribune reports.

Still on the 69-year-old lawmaker's to-do list: implementing the recently approved Farm Bill and the pursuit of a permanent solution to flood protection in the Red River Valley, he said.

The Democrat serves in a right-leaning district, but has won in recent elections by double digits, even as many of his Seventh Congressional District voters opted for Republicans for other offices. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney beat President Obama in the district in 2012, 54 to 44 percent.

It's no big shock that the guitar-playing Peterson will run again, but he had wavered, increasingly fed up with partisan bickering in Congress. A years-long battle over the farm bill was particularly aggravating, he has said.

“While it can be frustrating to watch the dysfunction and partisan gridlock in Congress, I think there is still a place for moderate members like myself to try to build consensus and cooperation,” Peterson says in the release.

Peterson is the top Democrat, and former chairman, on the House Agriculture Committee, which managed the farm bill. The National Journal recently said Peterson may be "one of the most underestimated people ever to lead a congressional panel."

A Minnesota source told The Hill, a congressional newspaper, "We're really excited, obviously. It would have been a tough one for us to hold if he didn't run."

State Sen. Torrey Westrom is mounting a challenge against the incumbent. The Rothenberg Political Report, a respected elections watch website, notes that the vote in Peterson's race still "leans Democrat."

The Washington Post reports that National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Tyler Houlton said, "As NRCC Chairman Greg Walden likes to say about vulnerable Democrats, 'Either leave on your own terms, or lose in November.' Today, it looks like Rep. Collin Peterson decided he’d rather lose in November."

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