On Tuesday, former Minnesota Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Fischbach announced victory in the GOP primary election for Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District in the state’s rural west. It establishes what is likely to become one of the most competitive battlefields because the GOP aims to end the 30-year rule of the Democratic incumbent Collin Peterson.
In the controversial five-way primary election, Fischbach, who won critical endorsements from both the Minnesota GOP and President Trump in the final weeks, dominated the race with more than 59 percent of the total votes. . She easily beat her strongest rival, Air Force veteran and GOP challenger from the region in 2016 and 2018, Dave Hughes by almost 40%.
Despite Fischbach’s important endorsement and long term as a state senator and a cash advantage of nearly $ 350,000, her election campaign is frequently contested.
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Fischbach’s campaign manager has been given a ban on Hughes for allegedly calling him more than 300 times in “coordinated attacks” to disrupt the virtual campaign speech. Hughes also filed a FEC complaint alleging that Fischbach received more than $ 20,000 from political action committees controlled or influenced by her immediate family members.
Furthermore, although she can guarantee endorsement from the Minnesota GOP, it takes 8 voting rounds to reach the 60% needed for endorsement. Point out that state party officials do not trust her campaign much.
Her next challenge will be to find a way to differentiate her conservative brand from Peterson, the 15-term incumbent and chairman of the House agriculture committee.
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Peterson is considered to be one of the most conservative members of the Democrats. He is an anti-abortionist, has received an A rating from the NRA and is one of two democrats to vote against impeaching President Trump. His position as chairman of the agricultural committee also gave him incredible influence in a district where arable land dominates the region. Peterson conducted the primary election easily with 75% of the vote.
In 2016, Trump won the district at + 30%, Congressman Peterson was able to retain his seat at 5.1%. For the GOP to have a chance to recapture a shared home, candidates will have to dominate rural districts like MN-07. A recent Fox News poll found Trump is trailing the former Biden Vice President 13% in a statewide race.
2020 could be the perfect year for Fischbach to challenge. Cook Poli Report, a non-partisan election assessment service, has labeled the race a subversive, Peterson has the smallest win rate in 2018 since the first election in 1990 and with Trump at the top of the ticket, that might be all she needs to get past a long democratic stronghold.