Longtime U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson on Tuesday won re-election over Republican Dave Hughes to represent a largely rural and right-of-center district that blankets much of western Minnesota.
It was their second contest. Peterson defeated Hughes by 5 percentage points in 2016, even as President Donald Trump won the district by nearly 31 points.
Peterson is the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, and its past chairman, giving him a major voice on farming issues in Washington. He’s also one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress and has at times bucked his own party on health care and gun control.
Hughes said it was time for the district to be represented by a Republican who can work with Trump to pass an agenda more favorable to the district’s needs, such as loosening regulations that could burden small businesses and farms that dominate the region.
Hughes also said he believes a vote for Peterson supported a vote for a Democratic Party he called increasingly out of step with rural Minnesotans. Hughes is an Air Force veteran who trains flight crews for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
Peterson insisted he has the support of many Republicans in the district for his bipartisan attitude and voice on agricultural issues.