Minnesota’s Peterson voted out of Washington after 30 years

Source: By LIZ CRAMPTON, Politico • Posted: Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Minnesota Democrat was defeated by a female GOP recruit.

Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District will now be represented by Michelle Fischbach, a GOP recruit and former lieutenant governor.

Fischbach, who turned 55 on Nov. 3, ran a campaign tying Peterson to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and left-wing lawmakers. President Donald Trump’s endorsement featured prominently in her ads. She also earned broad support from anti-abortion groups, and her husband and mother-in-law hold leadership positions in the movement.

Fischbach served only one year as lieutenant governor in Minnesota but had been a state senator for 22 years. Her victory adds one more seat to the Republican minority, although the House remains in Democratic hands by a wide margin.

Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District is a largely rural area that runs almost the entire western length of the state and has an economy driven by agriculture.

Peterson’s defeat is a major setback for the traditional agriculture lobby, which considered the Minnesota Democrat a top ally who worked to secure funding for farmers and boost agricultural interests within his district.

in Peterson’s race. A super PAC started by the sugar industry, Committee for Stronger Rural Communities, spent more than $1 million during the election cycle. Peterson was a champion for the sugar and pork sectors, as well as conservation programs.

His departure from Washington also tees up jockeying for the next chair of the Agriculture Committee. Peterson’s absence provides an opening for a more progressive member to take the helm of the committee as Congress gears up to pass the next farm bill. Reps. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), David Scott (D-Ga.) and Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) are next in line to the chair, based on seniority.

Fischbach’s campaign said she intends to try to get a spot on the Agriculture Committee.