Republican U.S. House candidate Torrey Westrom raised $84,000 in December in his bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson in the state’s conservative-leaning Seventh District.
Westrom, an attorney and state senator, announced his candidacy in early December, which means he didn't have the full fundraising period, which included the final three months of 2013, to rake in donations.
Citing a “tremendous surge of support” in just over three weeks as an official candidate, a release from Westrom’s campaign indicates that 97 percent of his contributions came from Minnesotans.
“I am humbled by the overwhelming amount of support I’ve already received from my neighbors,” Westrom said in a statement.
Westrom's release did not list his cash on hand total.
Peterson raised $165,000 during the fundraising period and has $357,000 banked for a possible re-election bid, but has not revealed if he will seek a 13th term in Congress. The top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, Peterson has been wrapped up in farm bill negotiations for months and expects to announce his plan once a deal is reached.
Westrom has the backing of the national Republicans, who consider Peterson vulnerable because he hails from a district that backed Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. The seat covers much of western Minnesota from the Canadian border down to southern part of the state.
Despite the district's conservative tilt, Republicans challengers haven't posed much of a threat to Peterson, a conservative Democrat who has coasted to re-election for much of the past 20 years.