The Congressional District 7 DFL Convention was held at the Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort for much of the day Saturday.
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Democrats from throughout the sprawling 7th Congressional District were at the Prairie's Edge Casino Resort on Saturday to nominate long-running congressman Collin Peterson to another term in the United States House of Representatives.
As a Democratic Farm-Labor State Council Committee member, local Tim Velde had a major hand in organizing the Congressional District 7 DFL Convention, which was said to have gone off without a hitch and possessed a notably jovial, cooperative atmosphere.
"In the seventh district here everybody is together and working toward the same direction — making sure that the good candidates we have remain in office while continue to elect solid candidates who aren't," Tim Velde said. "We try very hard to be welcoming and inclusive while still inviting discussion and valuing the input and opinions of all who take part."
"The convention opened with a welcome by Upper Sioux Community Tribal Chairman Kevin Jensvold, as well as a special presentation from the USC drum group, which Velde said was exceedingly gracious. "Chairman Jensvold told us that we're not just their guest, we're family when we're in their home area — and that they were there to help us and make us feel welcome. And they certainly did that."
Peterson's unanimous nomination was a surprise to no one as the longest serving Minnesota Congressman in the history of the state prepares to seek election for a seat he has held since 1991, and which also places him as the ranking agricultural member of the house committee and 35th––out of a total 435––in terms of House seniority, overall.
Those speaking prior to, and in favor of, his nomination recalled services that Peterson performed for constituents but that did not necessarily make national headlines. Velde noted that people typically people Think of the Farm Bill when talking of Peterson––but acts. such as securing funds for the City of Hanley Falls when it was in danger of losing its Senior meal program a few years ago, are commonplace with the 7th District representative.
"He went to bat for the little town of Hanley Falls and that made the difference," Velde said.
Peterson said that its becoming tougher and tougher to make progress in an increasingly divided government under the growing influence of ‘outside’ money interest.
“It was a miracle we got anything done," Peterson said––noting that the ag committee was about the only committee able to get anything passed in the last session.
Peterson also said that he expects Republicans to attack him on his unwillingness to support the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act. He said that he is one of only five democrats representing congressional districts won by Mitt Romney in the last presidential election, and the goal of the GOP is to capture those seats.
Representative of some of the larger issues and trends plaguing Congress. Peterson said that there used to be 170 districts across the country that could go to either a republican or democrat—depending on the candidate, but that divisions have become so entrenched that there's only 25 where the quality of a particular candidate has any sway.
"You're not elected to shut down the government," Peterson said. “You're elected to make it work."