NBC and The Hill report that President-elect Barack Obama may be considering DFL Rep. Collin Peterson for Ag Secretary. The Hill says one of the obstacles for Peterson may be real estate. Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District leans GOP:
Peterson’s rural western Minnesota district has trended red in recent years and it went for President Bush in both the 2000 and 2004 elections. It took Peterson four attempts before he was finally elected in 1990. With a large wheat-farming industry in his district, he moved quickly up the ladder of the House Agriculture Committee and became its chairman in the Democratic takeover.
And this isn’t his first mention as a possible Cabinet choice. He was talked about for the same spot under President Bush.
The paper speculates on a few replacements if Peterson was named to the job. All of them come with experience in the Minnesota Legislature. The first is Marty Seifert, GOP House Minority Leader. Seifert tells me he isn’t very interested:
Frankly, I am not very interested and although I appreciate the kind thoughts of people who think of me for things like this, it would take more than political arm twisting to get me to do this.
GOP Rep. Morrie Lanning is also mentioned. On the DFL side, DFL Rep. Paul Marquardt is mentioned.
Peterson’s office did not return calls to The Hill. He did, however, press Obama to name strong, knowledgeable people to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.