Rep. Collin Peterson to announce his re-election plans

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U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson will announce Monday morning whether he plans to seek re-election to a 13th term in Congress, the West Central Tribune reports. Peterson has served 24 years in the House and hasn't yet said whether he's going to run for another term in the November election.

The Star Tribune reports, however, that he's sent out some signals indicating he is planning to run again. He has told some Minnesota Democrats he plans to do so, and last week, a source close to Peterson told the Star Tribune he expected Peterson would run. Other political observers are hearing similar information.

If Peterson does run again, it will disappoint some Republicans who had hoped they could easily pick up Peterson's seat in an open election, according to the Star Tribune.

Peterson represents Minnesota's 7th Congressional District along the western border of the state. He is a conservative "Blue Dog" Democrat who often bucks his party but remains popular with his constituents, who often vote for Republicans in other races, the newspaper said.

About two-thirds of the state legislators from the district are Republicans. In 2012, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won 54 percent of the vote in Peterson’s district. But in that same election, Peterson won 60 percent of the vote, according to the Star Tribune.

Peterson, 69, is the longest-serving member of Minnesota's congressional delegation, and the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee. He plays a key role in setting agriculture policy in Congress, which serves his rural district well. But he has said that the battle over the most recent farm bill took much longer than it should have, and took more out of him than in it has in past years.

Republican state Sen. Torrey Westrom, of Elbow Lake, has already announced he's running for the seat, according to the West Central Tribune.

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