Michelle Fischbach

Former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach of Paynesville announced she is running for the Dist 7 congressional seat.

PAYNESVILLE, MN – Former Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach Monday announced she is running for Congress in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District. Fischbach will challenge Democrat Congressman Collin Peterson, who has been in Washington for nearly 30 years. Fischbach was the most recent Republican to hold statewide office in Minnesota when she ascended from her role as President of the Senate to Lieutenant Governor in 2018.

“After much consultation and prayer with my family, I have decided to run for Congress,” said Fischbach. “Western Minnesota families deserve a representative who will fight for their values in Washington and support President Trump’s agenda – not the socialist agenda of Nancy Pelosi, Ilhan Omar, and the rest of the squad. People here believe in our constitutional rights. They believe in the right to life. They believe in making sure the next generation has the opportunity to pursue the American dream right here in Western Minnesota.”

Fischbach talked with VOA's Joe Korkowski about her announcement to run (audio below).

Before serving as Lieutenant Governor, Fischbach served in the Minnesota Senate. After the 2010 election, the Minnesota Senate selected Fischbach to serve as President of the Senate, making her the first woman in Minnesota history to serve in that role. After the 2016 election, Fischbach was again selected by the Minnesota Senate to serve as President of the Senate, a position she would hold until she ascended to Lieutenant Governor in 2018.

“Collin Peterson no longer represents Western Minnesota values,” added Fischbach. “One of his first votes this Congress was to ban the wall, and he votes against President Trump 85 percent of the time. Unlike Peterson, I will work with President Trump to secure our borders, build the wall, fight against the Democrats’ socialist agenda, and keep America great.”

Over the past several weeks Fischbach has heard from many people in the Republican-leaning district who have encouraged her to run against Democrat Collin Peterson. In the coming weeks and months, Fischbach will travel the district and talk with voters about her vision for Western Minnesota and listen to their thoughts and concerns.

Following her announcement the University of Virginia's Center for Politic's "Sabato Crystal Ball" listed the District 7 race with incumbent Democrat Collin Peterson "a toss up."  Ken Martin, MN DFL party chairman says “As the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Representative Collin Peterson has worked with both Democrats and Republicans to get things done for our farmers and for communities across Greater Minnesota.  In 2014, Republicans spent millions of dollars trying to unseat Collin Peterson, but they failed because voters in Western Minnesota know that Peterson has always been a strong and independent voice for them and their families."

Dave Hughes has run as the Republican-endorsed candidate in the past two elections.  On August 5th he announced his intention to run again for the 2020 election.

About Michelle Fischbach:

Michelle Fischbach recently served as the 49th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, ascending to that position following the resignation of her predecessor. She was the first woman in Minnesota history to serve as President of the Minnesota Senate – initially from 2011-12 and then again from 2017-18. She also served as Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. She was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1996 and served until 2018. She holds a B.A. from St. Cloud State University and a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. She and her husband, Scott, live in the Paynesville area and have two grown children and five grandchildren.

About Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District:

Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District is the most pro-Trump district in the country held by a Democrat. In 2016, President Trump carried the district by nearly 31 percentage points. According to The Cook Political Report, the district has a Partisan Voting Index (PVI) of R+12. According to FiveThirtyEight, in the 116th Congress, Congressman Peterson has voted against President Trump’s agenda 85% of the time.