MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A political icon has fallen in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District.
Michelle Fischbach beat 30-year incumbent Collin Peterson Tuesday night, with a decisive margin of victory of 53% to 40%.
Peterson, a Democrat, was a powerful force on Capitol Hill, where he served as chair of the House Agriculture Committee. But he became increasingly out of step with his increasingly-Republican district.
Fischbach is a conservative powerhouse. She has served as lieutenant governor, president of the Minnesota Senate, and now congresswoman-elect.
“It’s a conservative district. I mean, four years ago it went overwhelmingly for President Trump, and this year again it voted for President Trump, and they’re a conservative group and they wanted a strong conservative voice in Washington D.C.,” Fischbach said.
Voters in Litchfield, like Vera Christie and Cathy Lotzer, say they are not surprised she beat Peterson.
“I think a lot of people might have been not be so comfortable with Collin Peterson anymore,” Christie said.
“They’re looking for change. They’re sick of the way things are going,” Lotzer said.
The 7th District is a prime example of a trend in Minnesota and across the country that has accelerated under President Trump: agricultural and rural areas, as well as small towns, shifting from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican.
Thirteen-million dollars of outside money flooded the district, fueling a wave of negative ads, many portraying the powerful ag chairman as far more liberal than he really is. Peterson was one of only a handful of Democrats to vote against the impeachment of President Trump.
Fischbach says she is looking forward to advancing her conservative agenda in what she hopes will be the president’s second term.
“I want to go to Washington D.C. and make sure we’re working on that economy and making sure that we’re moving that forward. The 2017 tax cuts, making sure those are permanent, and continue moving the economy forward,” Fischbach said.
Peterson, who was first elected in 1990, said in part, “I’d like to thank the people of the 7th District for their support over the years. I respect their decision to move in a different direction.”