Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN-07) recently revealed that Republican leadership has been pressuring him to join their ranks and defect from the Democratic Party.
“There have been overtures by the highest levels of the Republican Party in the last couple weeks to ask if I would consider it and I told them no,” Peterson told KFGO Monday. “I’m staying in the party in spite of some of the stuff that’s going on that I don’t agree with. I am not going to switch parties at this stage of my career.”
Peterson’s 28-year career in Congress has been marked by a number of Republican policy positions, including his vote against the Affordable Care Act, his pro-life beliefs, and an “A” rating from the National Rife Association.
He was also one of just two Democrats to vote against the rules package that formalized the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. The other Democrat, Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ-02), told his staff over the weekend that he plans to defect from the Democratic Party because of the impeachment inquiry.
Peterson said Saturday the he will vote against the articles of impeachment “unless they come up with something between now and Wednesday.”
“The biggest problem I have with this is that you had people who have decided they’re going to impeach him, and now they spend a year trying to figure out how they can make a case for it. That’s backwards. I just don’t agree with this,” he said, claiming the “president has not committed a crime.”
President Trump carried Peterson’s rural district by a whopping 30.8 percentage points over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. Trump managed to defeat Clinton in every single one of the 38 counties in Peterson’s district.
Peterson has yet to announce if he will seek a 16th term in Congress in 2020 and a number of Republicans have lined up to challenge him, including former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach. The Cook Political Report has labeled the Seventh Congressional District a “toss up.”
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