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New negative ads make Peterson 'more likely to run' in 7th district


U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson still has not decided if he will run for re-election in 2014. That has not stopped conservative groups from launching new attack ads at the 12-term Democrat.

The ad from the American Future Fund accuses Peterson of ignoring his constituents.

Peterson calls the ads ridiculous. MinnPost reports the attack ads might make it more likely that Peterson will seek re-election. "What they are doing is making me more inclined to not hang up my hat," Peterson said.

Peterson, the ranking Democratic member of the House Agriculture Committee, told MinnPost, "Right now we're trying to get the farm bill done. That's what I'm focused on. Once that's over with, then I'll figure out what I am going to do."

The American Future Fund is one of the most active nonprofit groups in politics. Under tax law, it is not required to publicly identify its donors. Last year the fund raised a staggering $68 million, according to MinnPost. So far it has spent about $81,000 on the attack of Peterson.

"I don't know who these guys are or what they're up to," said Peterson to MinnPost. "If I'd only been in office a couple of terms, it might have a bigger impact, but people know me."

Republicans believe that Peterson is vulnerable. According to MinnPost, Peterson was one of only nine House Democrats that won a district carried by Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, in 2012. Republicans have targeted Peterson for defeat in 2014.

The Hill reports Peterson's fundraising has been slow so far this year. In his most recent filing with the Federal Elections Commission, Peterson has about $227,000 on hand. He had raised less than $364,000 as of Sept. 30.

Should he decide to seek re-election he will have a challenge from state Sen. Torrey Westrom, who announced his bid for the seat earlier this month.

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