The race for campaign cash
Judging by the amount of fundraising going on, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson of Detroit Lakes has a race on his hands for the first time in years.
The fundraising race in Minnesota for the 7th District seat in the U.S. House was closer this quarter than last.
Longtime incumbent Peterson, a Democrat, raised nearly $268,000 from April to June, and he ended the month with about $717,000 total cash on hand.
Peterson spent about $70,000 in the three-month period.
He has raised more than $1 million in this election cycle. At this time last year, Peterson had $205,000 cash on hand.
Republican challenger Torrey Westrom, a state senator, raised about $232,000 in the three-month period and ended June with $328,000 total cash on hand.
He spent about $73,000 from April to June.
Peterson raised about $218,000 the first three months of the year, while Westrom raised about $137,000.
In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Democrat Al Franken has raised far more than his opponents, but he has also far outspent them.
Franken has just over $5 million cash on hand, and has raised about $18.5 million so far, while Republican-endorsed candidate Mike McFadden has just over $2 million in hand, and has raised nearly $4 million so far,
No data is available on Republican primary challenger Jim Abeler.
In the race for governor, incumbent Democrat Mark Dayton has raised about $1.4 million and has about $753,000 cash on hand.
His Republican opponents, locked in a primary fight, have raised varying amounts.
Scott Honour has raised about $1.2 million so far, and has nearly $227,000 cash on hand.
Kurt Zellers has raised nearly $543,000 and has almost $95,000 cash on hand.
Marty Seifert has raised about $291,000 and has just over $104,000 on hand.
Jeff Johnson, the endorsed Republican candidate, has raised over $285,000 and has nearly $33,000 cash on hand.
In politics, money doesn’t always equal victory, but it sure helps.
The unemployment rate for Becker County dropped to 4.1 percent in May, the latest data available.
The county’s May unemployment rate hasn’t been that low since before the great recession, when it hit 3.9 percent in May 2006.
Some 17,496 people had jobs in Becker County in May, while 753 were listed as unemployed.
The (not seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Becker County was at 4.8 percent last May and 5 percent in May of 2012.
The Minnesota unemployment rate was a seasonally adjusted 4.6 percent in June. The national rate for June was 6.1 percent.
Minnesota added 8,500 jobs in June, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
In the past 12 months, the state has added 53,779 jobs, a 1.9 percent annual growth rate, which matches the U.S. growth rate for that period.
With a growing population, a diversified economy, the lure of the lakes and a growing regional center in Detroit Lakes, Becker County is in a good position for future growth.