Longtime Fourth District U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum easily secured an 11th term in Congress, where she is positioned for an increasingly prominent role on the powerful Appropriations Committee.

McCollum headed into Election Day in a comfortable position. Her reliably Democratic district contains Ramsey County and much of Washington County.

She currently serves as chairwoman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment, Interior and Related Agencies and is positioned to move into the higher-profile role of Defense Subcommittee chairwoman next year.

She said this fall that she has not written off a bid for the gavel of the full Appropriations Committee, which shapes congressional funding bills.

Her Republican opponent, Gene Rechtzigel, was not the GOP's endorsed candidate. His campaign website proposes replacing the Affordable Care Act with "Gene­Care," which he said is a solution to COVID-19 and will include coverage of traditional Chinese medicine.

Rechtzigel beat the GOP Party's chosen candidate, attorney Sia Lo, in a low-turnout primary.

As McCollum weighed her decision to extend her nearly 20-year run in Congress, she said a number of issues were on her mind.

"We need to stop President Trump and the Republicans from what they have inflicted on our nation these past years," she said before Election Day. "And we need to get our economy back on track, we need to come together to battle COVID. And I'm going to continue to work on racial and environmental justice."

Her other priorities include protecting Social Security and Medicaid and blocking efforts to end the Affordable Care Act. She supports a robust COVID-19 relief package.

Jessie Van Berkel