MARSHALL - Veteran United States Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota's 7th District earned a 12th term Tuesday, defeating Republican challenger and Willmar businessman Lee Byberg for the second time in four years Tuesday.
Peterson, the ranking member of the House Ag Committee, had 61 percent of the votes late Tuesday with 82 percent of precincts reporting.
The outcome wrapped up a relatively quiet campaign. While other congressional races in Minnesota included numerous TV spots and plenty of vitriol, the 7th District campaign between Peterson and Byberg barely registered outside of district boundaries and drew little statewide attention.
Peterson had said little in public about Byberg throughout this year's campaign, while Byberg called a struggling and unpopular Congress "out of touch" in a Sept. 27 interview with the Independent.
Peterson withstood the Republican wave in 2010 by defeating Byberg by about 18 percentage points. That race was one of the closest Peterson has been involved in since he was first elected in 1990.
Peterson earned at least 70 percent of the votes in both 2006 and 2008, 66 percent in 2004 and 65 percent in 2002. The closest anyone has ever come to defeating him was in 1990 when Arlan Stangeland, looking for an eighth term, earned 46 percent of the vote.
After redistricting, the 7th District stretches from the Minnesota/Canada border all the way down to include Murray County.
Other congressional races:
In Congressional District 1, incumbent DFLer Tim Walz defeated challenger Allen Quist. District 1 serves southwest Minnesota counties Rock, Nobles and Jackson, as well as parts of Cottonwood County. In District 3, Erik Paulsen, GOP, was elected, and Keith Ellison, a Democrat, was elected in District 5. Democrat Betty McCollum defeated Republican Tony Hernandez and Steve Carlson of the Independence Party to win a seventh term in the 4th District. John Kline, GOP, won in District 2 over Mike Obermueller.