Retire from Congress? Nope, Collin Peterson says he's running again

Peterson is reportedly ready to run for a 15th term in Congress.

Those retirement rumors started popping up four elections ago. But U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, who's now 72, keeps brushing them off and voters in western Minnesota keep sending him back to Washington.

According to Roll Call  Peterson says he's heading out on the campaign trail for a 15th time. "Yeah, I'm running. I've got 700 grand in the bank," he told them this week.

Political analysts have theorized that if Peterson – a conservative-leaning Democrat – did not run in next year's election, Minnesota's seventh district would likely flip to the Republican column. The website Daily Kos notes that President Trump doubled Hillary Clinton's total in the district last fall, 62-31 percent.

Agricultural focus

Peterson's district extends from the Canadian border almost all the way to Iowa. (There's a map of it here.) That's a lot of land – and most of it's farmland.

Peterson is the ranking Democrat on the House agriculture committee. At least one analyst thinks his farm focus, combined with his willingness to be a political maverick, is what's kept Peterson commuting to Washington from a largely Republican district.

"He has, to the extent he's needed to, protected himself by voting against the party often and really focusing on agriculture issues," U of M political scientist Kathryn Pearson told Forum News Service.

Peterson's victory margin in 2016 was narrower than most of his previous races. He defeated retired Air Force officer Dave Hughes of Karlstad, 52 to 47 percent.

Hughes is challenging Peterson again, and so is state Rep. Tim Miller of Prinsburg. More candidates could still emerge, since the election is more than 18 months away.

Next Up


Police searching for driver after fatal hit-and-run in Minneapolis

Police say the driver of a cream or white SUV hit a man in the road and then fled.

bloomington police incident

BREAKING: Area of Bloomington shut down, police have building surrounded

Portions of Lyndale Avenue and American Boulevard are closed.

police lights

Attempted luring of 14-year-old girl reported in West St. Paul

The suspect is described as a white man in his 40s.

Screen Shot 2021-03-04 at 9.19.48 PM

Worker, 18, suffers serious electric shock at Vikings apartments site

The worker was reportedly in a critical condition Thursday.


As golf season approaches, book your round now at Dacotah Ridge GC

The stunning course is designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett's group out of potential Timberwolves sale

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said that Garnett's group was not one of "more than 10" to buy the team.


Full production winery set to open in Minneapolis this month

The couple behind Schram Vineyards Winery and Brewery is opening AxeBridge Wine Company in Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood.


Pedestrian killed in two-vehicle crash in Crystal

The incident happened just after noon.

Screen Shot 2021-03-04 at 1.45.48 PM

Foss Swim School opens its 9th Minnesota location in former Pier 1 store

The Eden Prairie based company has 22 locations across the Midwest.

police tape, crime scene

Charges: Minneapolis man kills woman, tells police to kill him

A convicted felon is accused of fatally shooting a 29-year-old woman on Feb. 28.


A Republican not named Mills is running for Rick Nolan's seat in Congress

Another Nolan/Mills rematch is still possible – but there's a new wrinkle now.

Collin Peterson to seek 15th term in Congress

Peterson represents one of the most conservative House districts represented by a Democrat.

After packed town hall, Rep. Tim Walz says he's mulling a run for governor

He made the comments after a town hall meeting on Thursday.

After narrow loss in 2016, Angie Craig looks to run again in MN 2nd district

She criticizes her opponent for his support of the GOP healthcare bills.