MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Democratic U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum has won an 8th term in Minnesota’s east metro 4th District.

McCollum defeated the Republican candidate, attorney Sharna Wahlgren, and Independence Party candidate Dave Thomas, an Iraq War veteran.

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McCollum is a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. She works mostly behind the scenes, but has been in the news in recent weeks for supporting efforts to stop the Washington Redskins from using their nickname when they played the Vikings at the University of Minnesota last weekend.

The 4th District, which includes St. Paul and some of its suburbs, has long been a Democratic stronghold.

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