Over the weekend, President Donald Trump tweeted his “total endorsement” of Minnesota congressional candidate Dave Hughes.
Hughes is looking to unseat U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat who has represented Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District since 1991. Trump praised Hughes, saying he will “help us accomplish our America First policies.”
Dave Hughes is running for Congress in the Great State of Minnesota. He will help us accomplish our America First policies, is strong on Crime, the Border, our 2nd Amendmen, Trade, Military and Vets. Running against Pelosi Liberal Puppet Petterson. Dave has my Total Endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 8, 2018
Hughes thanked the president for the endorsement, saying he ready to partner with Trump to promote the America First agenda.
“I’m honored by his confidence in me and look forward to working with our President to move the America First agenda forward,” Hughes said in a statement.
“My background in national security, border security, and immigration is much needed in Congress,” Hughes added in a tweet.
Peterson, a moderate Democrat, has held onto his district for 14 terms despite the area’s increasingly conservative bend. Hughes also challenged Peterson in 2016, narrowly losing the election.
The election results came as a surprise to many. According to Open Secrets, Peterson spent over $680,000 on the race, while Hughes spent over $19,000. Despite Peterson’s name recognition and wildly outspending his opponent, Hughes came within 5 percentage points of winning. The narrow loss indicates the district may be on the verge of flipping this election cycle.
Jennifer Carnahan, chairwoman of the Republican Party of Minnesota, has called the Seventh District the most Republican in the state, furthering the belief that the district has the potential to go Republican this November. In 2016, the district went for Trump by a margin of over 30 points, according to the Associate Press.
Minnesota has been seen as a pick-up opportunity for the GOP going into the 2018 midterms, with most of the focus going to Minnesota’s First and Eighth Congressional Districts.