Miller enters race for 7th District congressional seat

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Less than six months after winning his second two-year term in the Minnesota House of Representatives, District 17A Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, has announced that he will seek his party’s endorsement to run for Congress in 2018.

Miller, 51, said last week that he will see the 7th District U.S. House seat held by conservative Democratic Collin Peterson since 1991. Peterson, 72, who is from Detroit Lakes, has not yet said whether he will seek a 15th term in Congress or retire.

If Miller gets the Republican endorsement to run for the 7th District seat next year, he would be giving up his state House seat. District 17A is made up of Swift and Chippewa counties, most of Renville County, and the four southwestern Kandiyohi County townships of Edwards, Holland, Roseland and Lake Lillian.

Miller isn’t the only Republican seeking the party’s endorsement. Retired U.S. Air Force Officer Dave Hughes, of Karlstad, who lost to Peterson in 2016, has announced he is running again.

In announcing his candidacy, Miller said that, “It’s time for a change.” He believes that he is the right person to try unseat Peterson, should he seek another term, because of his experience in District 17A in unseating an incumbent Democrat.

Miller first ran against the incumbent state Rep. Andrew Falk in 2012 and lost. But in the 2014 rematch for the seat, Miller beat Falk gaining 55.4 percent of the vote. He widened his margin of victory to 59.0 percent in the 2016 election as the two faced off for the third time. Falk received just 40.9 percent of the vote.

Though he hasn’t said if he is going to seek re-election, Peterson did say that he was “actually having fun” serving in  Congress. In the past, he has also been spurred to run for re-election based on attacks Republicans have made against him as the campaign season approaches.

If Miller ends up running against Peterson, he faces an entirely different Democrat than he did in running against Falk.

Where Falk is a liberal Democrat who supports the rights of same sex couples to marry, supports the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), and supports more spending for social programs and education, Peterson is a moderate to conservative Democrat. He opposed the right for same sex couples to marry. He wasn’t a supporter of the ACA. He is a fiscal conservative. Those stands align him with the majority of the voters in the 7th District.

Peterson’s 26 years in Congress working for constituents of the district on a broad array of issues has allowed him to build deep ties with local governments, businesses, farmers, and ordinary residents that bridge party lines and loyalties. He is the one Democrat many Republicans will consistently vote for....


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