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4th District: Betty McCollum

When her daughter got hurt on a slide in a city park and the North St. Paul City Council would not fix the problem that led to the accident, Betty McCollum got involved in politics. She was elected to the city council on her second try.

In 1992 she ran for the state House of Representatives. District lines were being redrawn at the time so she ran against two incumbents. She beat them both. In office, she was a strong environmentalist who opposed Northern States Power when the utility sought permission to store spent nuclear waste in dry casks outside the plant. She advocated election reform, including allowing absentee voters to be able to vote without stating a reason they couldn't get to the polls. She had a 92 percent rating from the AFL/CIO and a 100 percent rating from the Sierra Club. She is in favor of abortion rights.

In 2004, McCollum faced Patrice Bataglia, a Dakota County commissioner. McCollum easily was re-elected with a 58%-to-33% victory. See election results for the 4th District.

According to Project Vote Smart, McCollum received these scores from special interest groups in 2005: NARAL (100%), National Association of Wheat Growers (40%), Humane Society (100%), National Taxpayers Union (17%), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (33%), NAACP (100%), National Education Association (100%), Family Research Council (0%), NOW (100%), Gun Owners of America (25%), American Public Health Association (100%). According to the National Journal, McCollum voted more liberal on economic, defense and foreign policy issues than 94 percent of the representatives. She voted more conservative on economic, defense and foreign policy issues than 6 percent of the representatives.

Candidate Bio

Betty McCollum
Political affiliation:
DFL Party
July 12, 1954
Minneapolis, MN.
Divorced. Mother of adult son and daughter, Sean and Katie. Catholic. Resides in St. Paul
Former teacher. Current congresswoman
Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of St. Catherine, majoring in social studies and minoring in political science.
Major political experience:
Current congresswoman from the 4th District, Former state legislator, Former member of North St. Paul City Council.

On the Issues

Audio Budget (2/10/06)

Campaign Finances

Total contributions:
Total disbursements
Cash on hand

Source: Federal Election Commission
October 2006

Links & Resources

Web site:

Candidate Pages

State Sen. Michele Bachmann has suspended her congressional campaign while she enters a hospital for medical treatment. (02/27/2006)
Patty Wetterling's announcement has upset the other Democrat in the race and has Republicans hopeful that the seat will stay in their hands. (02/03/2006)
State Sen. Sharon Marko said Wednesday she is jumping into the DFL race for Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, pitting her against former FBI agent Coleen Rowley. (02/01/2006)
Children's safety advocate Patty Wetterling said Friday she is ending her Democratic campaign for U.S. Senate, and threw her support to Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar. (01/20/2006)
Supporters of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota are going to have a tougher time getting the measure on the ballot next November. They've lost two critical votes in the Minnesota Senate in recent special elections. (12/28/2005)
A state lawmaker wants Minneapolis and St. Paul police to be able to question people at random about their immigration status. Rep. Jim Knoblach says he plans to introduce a bill that would strip the cities of their ordinances that limit enforcement of immigration laws. He talked with All Things Considered host Tom Crann. (12/14/2005)
The Pentagon is tentatively considering reducing the number of troops in Iraq by as many as three brigades over the next year, according to news reports. There are currently 18 brigades on the ground. Is U.S. military strategy in Iraq proving effective? ( 11/25/2005)
If a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage makes it on the ballot next year, it could give a big boost to Republican candidates for governor and U.S. Senate. (11/21/2005)
Two days after Attorney General Mike Hatch entered the governor's race, the top Democrat in the Minnesota House has announced he's running for Hatch's job. (10/26/2005)
Patty Wetterling ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Minnesota 6th District House seat last year against Republican Mark Kennedy, who will one of her competitors again in in the U.S. Senate race. But Wetterling says this time, she's running a smarter campaign. (10/09/2005)
As hundreds of Minnesota National Guard troops left this weekend for eventual deployment to Iraq, U.S. Rep. John Kline saw his son go overseas as well. Kline, R-Minn., said his son, Army Major J. Daniel Kline, is on his way to Iraq as part of the 101st Airborne Division. Kline spoke with MPR's Cathy Wurzer. (09/19/2005)
FBI 9/11 whistle blower Coleen Rowley formally launched her campaign for congress today. Rowley is challenging Republican John Kline in the 2nd District. She's running as a Democrat even though she says until recently she voted pretty much straight-line Republican, including a vote for the congressman she's now trying to unseat. (07/06/2005)
Former Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg is the first DFLer to formally announce his candidacy for the open congressional seat in Minnesota's 6th District. Tinklenberg made the announcement Tuesday in Blaine, where he once served as mayor. (06/14/2005)
Senate candidates Mark Kennedy, Amy Klobuchar and Patty Wetterling each list assets of less than $1 million in financial disclosure forms while a fourth candidate said his assets and liabilities both exceed $50 million, according to an Associated Press review. (05/27/2005)
Coleen Rowley is considering a race for Congress in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, the former FBI whistle-blower told The Associated Press Monday. (05/23/2005)