|U.S. House, Minnesota, District 7|
|January 3, 1991-Present|
|January 3, 2015|
|Years in position||23|
|Predecessor||Arlan Stangeland (R)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|Cost per vote||$7.57 in 2012|
|First elected||November 6, 1990|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Minnesota State Senate|
|Bachelor's||Moorhead State University|
|Service/branch||Minnesota Army National Guard|
|Years of service||1963-1969|
|Birthday||June 29, 1944|
|Place of birth||Fargo, ND|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Committee assignments
- 4 Issues
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 4.1.1 113th Congress
- 4.1.2 National security
- 4.1.3 Economy
- 4.1.4 Immigration
- 4.1.5 Healthcare
- 4.1.6 Social issues
- 4.1.7 Previous congressional sessions
- 4.2 Campaign themes
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 5 Elections
- 6 Campaign donors
- 7 Analysis
- 8 Personal
- 9 Recent news
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Peterson is a more moderate left of center Democratic Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Democratic Party line more than his fellow members.
Peterson was born in 1944 in Fargo, North Dakota. He earned his B.A. from Moorhead State University in 1966, also serving in the Minnesota Army National Guard from 1963 to 1969. Prior to his political career, Peterson worked as an accountant.
Below is an abbreviated outline of Peterson's professional and political career:
- 1963-1969: Minnesota National Guard
- 1977-1986: Minnesota State Senate
- 2007-Present: U.S. House of Representatives, Minnesota's 7th Congressional District
Peterson serves on the following committees:
- Agriculture Committee Ranking Member
Peterson served on the following committees:
- Agriculture Committee Ranking Member
The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session. For more information pertaining to Peterson's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
American response in Syria
- See also: United States involvement in Syria
Rep. Scott Rigell wrote in the letter in August 2013, “engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”
The members of Congress believed that Obama should have asked Congress for permission before engaging in Libya. “If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missles, [sic] 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute ‘hostilities,’ what does?” the letter asked.
“If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request. We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict,” stated the letter.
Peterson voted in support of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.
Peterson voted in opposition of HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.
Keystone Pipeline Amendment
Peterson voted in opposition of House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.
Peterson supported HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities. The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.
2013 Farm Bill
- See also: United States Farm Bill 2013
The comprehensive farm bill failed in the House due largely in part to the votes of 8 Democratic House members who joined the Republican majority to vote down the measure. Reps. Peterson, John Barrow, Sanford Bishop, Cheri Bustos, Sean Maloney, Mike McIntyre, Bill Owens, and Tim Walz were the 8 Democratic members who voted to reject the bill. According to analysis by OpenSecrets.org, many of these Democratic members have received significant political contributions from agricultural organizations that benefit from crop insurance subsidies. Five of the eight are on the House Agriculture Committee--Peterson, Bustos, Maloney, McIntyre, and Walz-- from which agribusiness firms routinely target committee members with sizable contributions.
Peterson recently expressed frustration with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor while at Farmfest in Minnesota. Peterson said Cantor is the main roadblock to get a farm bill passed. He added, "I don't get along with that guy and I don't know what to do about him."
- See also: United States budget debate, 2013
On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201. At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference. Peterson voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.
The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies. The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Peterson voted for HR 2775.
Immigration Executive Order
Peterson opposed an amendment that would prohibit funding for the "Morton Memos," which relax enforcement of immigration laws.
Peterson opposed repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Healthcare-Related Provisions in the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
House vote on abortion ban
On June 18, 2013, the House voted 228-196 on HR1797, mostly along party lines, to approve a ban on abortions occurring after 20 weeks of pregnancy. A number of members crossed over party lines in their votes. The vote was largely symbolic, as the Senate was not expected to take up the bill, and the White House threatened to veto the legislation. Peterson was one of six Democratic members who voted in favor of the ban.
Previous congressional sessions
Peterson voted against the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was 1 of 16 Democrats that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257-167 vote on January 1, 2013.
The following issues were highlighted on Peterson's campaign website:
Excerpt: "I have worked to secure the biggest increase in veterans’ benefits in our nation’s history. I’ve also worked with communities across the 7th District to build Veterans Homes and Veterans Clinics so that veterans and their families don’t have to drive for hours just to get the health care services they need."
Excerpt: "As Chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, I put together a coalition to pass a 2008 Farm Bill that offered a strong safety net for farmers."
Excerpt: "I’ve worked to expand educational opportunities in Minnesota by working to secure more funding for Pell Grants and land grant colleges, securing funding for nursing programs at Bemidji State University, securing funding for research programs at the University of Minnesota Morris, and securing funding for the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Minnesota Crookston."
Excerpt: "Health care reform is an important goal for our country, and I have always supported reform that will bring down the cost of health care without increasing our country’s growing debt. Now that President Obama has signed the landmark health care reform bill, I will work hard to make sure that the bill is implemented fairly."
- Wall Street Reform
Excerpt: "In the 2010 Congress I was deeply involved in writing the Peterson-Frank Financial Regulatory Reform bill that passed the House. The bill would prevent the kind of excessive speculation on Wall Street that caused the world-wide financial system meltdown at the end of 2008 and led to taxpayer-funded bailouts and the ongoing recession."
Excerpt: "I oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. In Congress, I voted for the “get tough” immigration bill to secure our borders, increase the number of security personnel, and build an extended border fence along our southern border. We need to give law enforcement officials more resources to capture and deport people who are in this country illegally."
The National Republican Congressional Committee listed Peterson's seat as one of seven early targets in the 2014 congressional elections. The seven targets align perfectly with the seven most Republican districts currently held by Democrats, according to FairVote's partisanship index. Peterson's district ranks as the 5th most Republican (45% D).
Peterson is being targeted in a new series of ads by the National Republican Congressional Committee calling on Minnesota voters to vote out the Blue Dog Democrat in 2014. The ad alleges Peterson is a career politician and to blame for "the crippling gridlock and dysfunction in Washington," according to NRCC spokeswoman Alleigh Marre. He was also targeted in ads run by the American Future Fund. The ad buy totaled nearly $100,000 and ran in December 2014.
On November 21, 2013, a fundraising breakfast was held to benefit Peterson's 2014 campaign. The breakfast featured House members Nancy Pelosi, George Miller, Sander Levin and Steve Israel, among others.
|U.S. House, Minnesota District 7 General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Collin Peterson Incumbent||60.4%||197,791|
|Source: Minnesota Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election" (dead link)|
Peterson was endorsed by the organizations below for the 2012 election.
- Education Minnesota
- American Federation of Teachers
- National Education Association
- Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association
- Minnesota Farmers Union PAC
- Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council
- National Rifle Association
- Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Political Action Committee
Comprehensive donor information for Peterson is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Peterson raised a total of $5,638,331 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.
|Collin Peterson's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7)||$1,129,343|
|2010||U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7)||$1,174,500|
|2008||U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7)||$1,218,264|
|2006||U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7)||$938,128|
|2004||U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7)||$422,906|
|2002||U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7)||$417,249|
|2000||U.S. House (Minnesota, District 7)||$337,941|
|Grand Total Raised||$5,638,331|
|Collin Peterson (2014) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
|April Quarterly||April 10, 2013||$34,416.62||$164,981.11||$(39,331.76)||$160,065.97|
|July Quarterly||July 14, 2013||$160,065.97||$93,835.73||$(48,803.80)||$205,097.90|
|October Quarterly||October 7, 2013||$205,097.90||$82,852.40||$(60,562.24)||$227,388.06|
|Year-End Quarterly||December 31, 2013||$227,388||$164,634||$(30,456)||$357,686|
|April Quarterly||April 12, 2014||$357,686.97||$217,915.28||$(52,951.76)||$522,650.49|
|July Quarterly||July 15, 2014||$519,558.00||$267,763.00||$(70,062.00)||$717,296.00|
Peterson raised only $94,000 in the second quarter. He has $205,000 in cash on hand as of July 2013.
Cost per vote
Peterson spent $7.57 per vote received in 2012.
|U.S. House, Minnesota District 7, 2012 - Collin Peterson Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by Election Runner-up||$583,839|
|Total Spent by Election Runner-up||$601,966|
|Top contributors to Collin Peterson's campaign committee|
|American Farm Bureau||$17,500|
|National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn||$12,500|
|American Crystal Sugar||$12,000|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Crop Production & Basic Processing||$199,218|
|Food Processing & Sales||$47,500|
Peterson won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Peterson's campaign committee raised a total of $1,174,500 and spent $1,269,568.
|U.S. House, Minnesota District 7, 2010 - Collin Peterson Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$396,707|
|Total Spent by General Election Opponent||$380,370|
|Top contributors to Collin Peterson's campaign committee|
|American Farm Bureau||$21,750|
|American Crystal Sugar||$11,900|
|Operating Engineers Union||$10,250|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Crop Production & Basic Processing||$163,916|
|Food Processing & Sales||$54,400|
|Securities & Investment||$37,400|
The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.
Peterson most often votes with:
Peterson least often votes with:
Ideology and leadership
Lifetime voting record
According to the website GovTrack, Peterson missed 283 of 14,455 roll call votes from Jan 1991 to Apr 2013, which is 2.0% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.
Congressional Staff Salaries
The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Peterson paid his congressional staff a total of $1,084,875 in 2011. Overall, Minnesota ranked 26th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Peterson's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $544,020 and $2,659,997. That averages to $1,602,008.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Peterson ranked as the 170th most wealthy representative in 2012.
|Collin C. Peterson Yearly Net Worth|
|Year||Average Net Worth|
National Journal vote ratings
- See also: National Journal vote ratings
Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.
According to the data released in 2013, Peterson was ranked the 183rd most liberal representative during 2012.
According to the data released in 2012, Collin Peterson was ranked the 183rd most liberal representative during 2011.
Voting with party
Collin Peterson voted with the Democratic Party 80.4% of the time, which ranked 196th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Collin + Peterson + Minnesota + House
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," accessed November 7, 2012
- Biographical Guide to Members of Congress, "Collin Peterson," accessed December 11, 2011
- CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "House of Representatives Committee Assignments," accessed December 11, 2011
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
- Yahoo, "65 Lawmakers Ask Obama to Consult on Syria," accessed August 28, 2013
- Politico, "33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action," accessed August 28, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "Representative Collin Peterson's Voting Records on National Security," accessed September 26, 2013
- The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
- OpenSecrets.org, "Agribusiness and the Farm Bill: Wayward Dems Benefit from Contributions," accessed July 19, 2013
- Minnesota Public Radio, "Walz and Peterson on the farm bill, and more," accessed August 20, 2013
- Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
- Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
- U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "Peterson on the issues," accessed September 12, 2013
- THOMAS (Library of Congress), "H.R. 1797"
- CNN, "House passes late term abortion ban," accessed June 20, 2013
- U.S. House, "June 18 Roll Call Vote," accessed June 20, 2013
- Politico, "House OKs 20-week abortion ban bill," accessed June 20, 2013
- U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
- Collin Peterson for Congress, "Issues"
- The Hill, "NRCC, promising to 'stay on offense,' targets seven Dems," accessed January 16, 2013
- FairVote, "NRCC Targets Foreshadow Power of Partisanship in 2014 Elections," accessed January 18, 2013
- Grand Forks Herald, "GOP targets Peterson in Minnesota’s 7th District," accessed August 19, 2013
- Roll Call, "Peterson Targeted in New Ad From Outside Group," accessed December 16, 2013
- Roll Call, "Top Democratic Leadership to Fundraise for Peterson," accessed November 20, 2013
- National Journal, "The Retirement Season," accessed February 11, 2012
- Collin Peterson for Congress, "Endorsements"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1990," accessed March 28, 2013
- OpenSecrets.org, "Collin Peterson," accessed May 16, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Peterson 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 18, 2013
- FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
- FEC, "July Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
- FEC, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
- FEC, "Year-End Quarterly," accessed February 11, 2014
- FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed May 16, 2014
- Roll Call, "House Fundraising Winners and Losers," accessed July 17, 2013
- OpenSecrets.org, "2012 Re-Election Cycle," accessed February 15, 2013
- OpenSecrets.org, "Tim Walz 2010 Re-Election Cycle," accessed December 3, 2011
- OpenCongress, "Collin Peterson," accessed August 5, 2013
- GovTrack, "Collin Peterson," accessed June 14, 2013
- LegiStorm, "Collin Peterson," accessed October 8, 2012
- OpenSecrets.org, "Collin C. Peterson (D-MN), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
- National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," accessed February 26, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
- Official House Site, "Full Biography," accessed December 11, 2011
|U.S. House of Representatives - Minneosta District 7
| Succeeded by|
|Minnesota State Senate
| Succeeded by|
State of Minnesota
St. Paul (capital)
Minnesota State Constitution | House of Representatives | Senate | County Attorney | House Research Department | Legislative Reference Library | Senate Counsel Research and Fiscal Analysis | Legislative Auditor |
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Commissioner of Management and Budget | State Auditor | Commissioner of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor and Industry | Chair of Public Utilities |