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7th District: Collin Peterson


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A country-music playing Democrat, Collin Peterson was one of seven conservative Democrats who formed the "Blue Dog" coalition. It was a play on the phrase "Yellow-Dog Democrats," party loyalists who would vote for a yellow dog if it ran on the Democratic ticket. Some Blue Dogs say they were choked blue by their party. But Peterson has pulled back some, complaining that the coalition has become too partisan and too focused on elections.

Peterson is an avid hunter who brings to Capitol Hill an expertise in wildlife, hunting and conservationn issues. This was no more apparent than during the 2000 session, where he fought to stop interstate shipping of birds for cockfighting and promoted legislation to allow hunting of double-crested cormorants, birds Peterson claims are interfering with sport fishing. He's also a licensed private pilot and has an interest in aviation issues.

Peterson opposes a ban on handguns, instead suggesting legislation that would mandate life in prison for anyone who commits a crime with a gun. Peterson gained attention in 1998 when he proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow the Northwest Angle's 100 residents to vote on whether they want to secede from the United States and join Manitoba.

In 2004, Peterson faced a challenge from David Sturrock, a teacher of political science. Peterson easily won re-election by a 66-to-34-percent margin.

According to Project Vote Smart, Peterson received these scores from special interest groups in 2005: NARAL (0%), National Association of Wheat Growers (80%), Humane Society (34%), National Taxpayers Union (32%), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (70%), NAACP (57%), National Education Association (100%), Family Research Council (83%), NOW (100%), Gun Owners of America (50%), American Public Health Association (75%). According to the National Journal, Representative Peterson voted more liberal on economic, defense and foreign policy issues than 53 percent of the representatives. He voted more conservative on economic, defense and foreign policy issues than 47 percent of the representatives.

Candidate Bio

Collin Peterson
Political affiliation:
Democratic Party
Born:
June 19, 1944
Fargo, ND.
Personal: Divorced.
Three children.
Resides in Detroit Lakes.
Lutheran.
Occupation:
Former accountant, 1966-90. 5th District congressman.
Education:
B.A. Moorhead State University, 1966.
Major political experience:
Elected to House of Representatives in 1990. Served in the Minnesota state Senate, 1977-83.

On the Issues

Audio Alternative energy (4/21/06)
Audio Budget and taxes (4/21/06)
Audio Conservation (4/21/06)
Audio Homeland security (4/21/06)
Audio Immigration (4/21/06)
Audio Iraq (4/21/06)
Audio Immigration (4/21/06)
Audio Social Security and Medicare (4/21/06)

Campaign Finances

Total contributions:
$809,983
Total disbursements
$535,232
Cash on hand
$209,360
Source: Political MoneyLine
October 2006

Links & Resources

Web site:
Document petersonforcongress.com/
Campaign contributions:
Document Political Moneyline

Candidate Pages

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U.S. Rep. Martin Sabo's retirement this year created something of a rarity: an open seat in Congress. With less than three weeks unil the election, Midday listeners get a chance to meet the candidates hoping to take Sabo's place. (Midday, 10/20/2006)
The candidates in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District face off as part of Midday's Meet the Candidates series. (Midday, 10/20/2006)
GOP Rep. Gil Gutknecht offered an optimistic message about America's direction. Democratic challenger Tim Walz spoke of an America that's desperate for change. (10/19/2006)
Democratic congressional candidate Keith Ellison is accusing a St. Louis Park woman of working with a Minneapolis writer to blackmail his campaign. (10/19/2006)
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The three major party candidates for the 5th Congressional District seat met for a debate Tuesday evening at a St. Louis Park synagogue. DFLer Keith Ellison, Republican Alan Fine and Independence Party candidate Tammy Lee were asked their views on health care, the war in Iraq and the United States' relationship with Israel. (10/18/2006)
A watchdog group filed a complaint with the IRS Tuesday against a Minnesota church, claiming the pastor violated the church's tax-exempt status by endorsing GOP congressional candidate Michele Bachmann Saturday night. (10/17/2006)
A new poll shows Patty Wetterling is the frontrunner in the 6th District race. But Republicans say the poll isn't credible. (10/17/2006)
The nasty tone of a debate in Blaine carried over from the negative TV ads both Patty Wetterling and Michele Bachmann have been running. (10/16/2006)
In Minnesota's 5th Congressional District, Muslims are speaking with a newly found political voice. (10/13/2006)
Alan Fine, the Republican candidate for Congress in the 5th District, was charged with domestic violence in 1995 for allegedly assaulting his wife, and he later had his record expunged. Fine reacted angrily to a Star Tribune report about the incident, saying he is innocent. (10/07/2006)
6th District DFL Congressional candidate Patty Wetterling talked to a national radio audience Saturday about child safety and the Mark Foley scandal. (10/07/2006)
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