ST. PAUL – Rep. Collin Peterson pulled away from GOP challenger Dave Hughes to win Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District for his 15th term.
Peterson, who has represented the rural, conservative-leaning district for 28 years, received 52 percent of the vote Tuesday, Nov. 6, compared to 48 percent for Hughes in complete but unofficial results.
Peterson, who had trailed Hughes as early returns were reported, slowly gained ground throughout the night.
This was Hughes’ second attempt to unseat the 74-year-old Peterson, a DFLer from Detroit Lakes.
A strong supporter of President Trump’s policies, Hughes, 43 of Karlstad, had more money and staff this year than two years ago – where he came close to defeating Peterson– and had earned a tweet of endorsement from Trump. Hughes had predicted he’d win by double-digits if Trump campaigned for him in the 7th District.
Hughes had campaigned primarily on issues of securing the borders, immigration reform and refugee settlement programs.
Peterson, who holds a key position on the House agriculture committee and a seat at the negotiating table for the farm bill, said his longevity in Congress and his bi-partisan nature has put him in a position to create a farm bill that benefits the 7th District.
Peterson said earlier this year that after he retires, or is defeated, it would be a long time, “if ever,” that the 7th District will have someone with as much influence as he has representing regional agricultural interests in Congress.
The two-year term pays $174,000 annually.