Republican considering a run against Peterson

Van Binsbergen and Associates photo.

A Republican businessman from Montevideo says he’s thinking about challenging DFL Rep. Collin Peterson.

Scott Van Binsbergen says he’s met with officials with the National Republican Congressional Campaign and the Minnesota Republican Party about a possible run. He says he hasn’t made a final decision but is thinking about it seriously.

“I am very interested,” Van Binsbergen said. “I’ve been spending time traveling around the district and meeting with folks around the state.”

Van Binsbergen says he has not set a timeline as to when he’ll make a final decision. He’s run for office and worked for several Republican politicians including former Congressman Vin Weber and former Senator Rudy Boschwitz. He lost two bids for the state Legislature.

Van Binsbergen says his decision will not hinge on whether Peterson decides to run for re-election. Peterson has not said whether he intends to run for another term but said he’s more motivated to run after Republican party officials in Minnesota and nationally suggested he was preparing to retire.

Van Binsbergen did say, however, that he thinks Peterson has been in office for too long.

“Collin has been there a long time. Between his state Senate career and his congressional career he’s been in office for almost 35 years,” he said. “I just feel that’s part of our problem in our country. We have people where this has become their job.”

Republicans see Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District as a possible pick-up opportunity. The district, which includes most of western Minnesota, leans Republican. But Peterson has consistently won the district by double digits.