Nov 4, 2020
House ag committee chairman Collin Peterson loses reelection bid

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), a 15-term member of Congress and the chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, was defeated in the election for Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District.

Collin Peterson (D-MN), chairman of House Committee on Agriculture

Republican challenger and former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach won over Peterson by a 54-40 margin, ending a 30-year Congressional tenure for Peterson, 76, a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

Peterson was the two-time House ag committee chairman (2007-11 and 2019-present) and one of the biggest proponents of ag in Congress. He was one of the leaders of the last four U.S. Farm Bills. Ag-focused super PACs donated significant funds to support Peterson’s 2020 campaign, reported Politico and MinnPost recently.

“Throughout his career, Chairman Peterson has been one of the strongest voices in Congress for American growers and the entire U.S. agriculture community,” said Kam Quarles, CEO, National Potato Council. “During a time of hyper-partisanship, his fair-minded, bipartisan approach to governing has been a breath of fresh air, and, regardless of yesterday’s outcome, he will always be a champion for the potato industry and all of agriculture. He leaves big shoes to fill on the House Agriculture Committee.”

Peterson’s defeat means there will be a new chairman of the ag committee when Congress is sworn in come January. With Democrats maintaining the majority in the House, the next chair will be a Democrat. After Peterson, the longest-tenured Democratic committee members are David Scott of Georgia and Jim Costa of California, both of whom easily won reelection.

RELATED: Costa, Scott announce they’ll seek to fill chair position

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