President Donald Trump on Saturday morning tweeted his support for Dave Hughes, the Republican challenger for the U.S. House in Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District.
Hughes is running against U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, a centrist Democrat who is the state’s most senior representative. Peterson has served in Congress since 1991.
Trump’s tweet, sent at 9:44 a.m. with misspellings, including one of Peterson’s last name, reads:
“Dave Hughes is running for Congress in the Great State of Minnesota. He will help us accomplish our America First policies, is strong on Crime, the Border, our 2nd Amendmen, Trade, Military and Vets. Running against Pelosi Liberal Puppet Petterson. Dave has my Total Endorsement!”
Hughes thanked Trump for his support in a statement.
“I’m honored by his confidence in me and look forward to working with our President to move the America First agenda forward,” the statement read.
Trump’s characterization of Peterson as a “Pelosi Liberal Puppet” departs from his longtime reputation as a moderate to conservative Democrat. In the early years of President Obama’s administration, Peterson was a member of the then-influential Blue Dog coalition, a conservative Democratic caucus whose swing votes on issues ranging from health care to the budget were much coveted.
Hughes responded Saturday by saying that Peterson has voted for Pelosi for House speaker in the past.
“That vote does not represent the values of Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District,” he said in his statement. “I’ll be a solid conservative in Congress representing the values of the people who elected me.”
Hughes won the Republican nomination for the seat in last month’s primary, gathering 73 percent of the vote.
The Seventh District encompasses most of the western half of Minnesota.