“…Republican challenger, state Sen. Torrey Westrom, said Peterson’s support for the policies of President Barack Obama and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi are costing western Minnesota, which he said isn’t benefiting from how Peterson uses his seniority.
“’I will not apologize for not being a D.C. insider,’ Westrom said while riding from Alexandria to another event in Sauk Centre.
“Nearly $8.6 million in outside money from both sides has poured into the race, ranking it 12th in the country, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Parties and interest groups don’t typically spend much on races they can’t win.
“The heavily agricultural district sprawls over 35,000 square miles from the Canadian border nearly to the Iowa state line.
“Peterson, 70, a founder of the Blue Dog Coalition of fiscally conservative Democrats, chaired the Agriculture Committee for four years until Republicans took control of the House in 2011. He worked closely with its Republican chairman, Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, to shape the 2014 farm bill and nail down votes from both parties to get it approved.
“Westrom, 41, an Elbow Lake businessman, said he’s been a ‘tireless advocate for agriculture’ in his 18 years in the Minnesota Legislature. He was 23 when elected to the House in 1996. He switched to the Senate two years ago. He’s been blind since a car accident on his family’s dairy farm when he was 14, but said he was back to baling hay the next summer.”
You can read the complete article here.