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Collin Peterson By the Numbers

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Peterson will crack the Top 10 list for the oldest U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history by the end of this term; only five others have served longer in the chamber

collinpeterson10.jpgCollin Peterson officially launched his reelection campaign in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District Monday, ending months of media- and political operative-driven retirement speculation.

That speculation was largely based on what observers erroneously viewed to be lackluster fundraising by Peterson over the last year, although Smart Politics wrote reports in October 2013 and February documenting how Peterson's receipts were actually in line with or exceeding his fundraising numbers at this stage of the campaign in previous cycles, and thus did not suggest retirement was in the DFLer's near future.

With Peterson now officially in the race to win a 13th term, Smart Politics shines a light on some other little-known facts from the congressman's file:

If reelected this November, Peterson would become just the sixth Minnesota U.S. House member to win a 13th term in state history.

The only Minnesotans to reach the 13-term mark are:

· 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011)
· 16-term Republican Harold Knutson (1917-1949)
· 16-term Republican August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958)
· 14-term DFLer Martin Sabo (1979-2007)
· 14-term DFLer John Blatnik (1947-1974)

Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively as they sought to continue their tenure on Capitol Hill.

The only other Minnesota U.S. Representative to serve 12 terms was Republican H. Carl Andersen (1939-1963) who lost his party's nomination for the 6th CD in 1962.

If reelected in 2014, Peterson will also climb the list of the oldest U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history.

At the age of 69 years, 8 months, and 17 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the 11th oldest U.S. Representative to serve the state. (Fellow DFLer Rick Nolan currently sits at #8 at 70 years, 3 months).

Peterson will end this current term in the #9 slot at 70 years, 6 months, 5 days and, if he is reelected and serves out his 13th term, he will rank either #6 or #7, depending on the 2014 electoral fate of Nolan.

Farmer-Laborite Richard Thompson Buckler is the oldest Minnesotan to serve in the chamber, finishing his fourth and final term in January 1943 at 77 years, 2 months, 7 days.

Following Buckler is DFLer Jim Oberstar at #2 (76 years, 3 months, 24 days), Republican Charles Davis at #3 (75 years, 5 months, 14 days), Republican Loren Fletcher at #4 (73 years, 10 months, 21 days), and DFLer Roy Wier at #5 (72 years, 10 months, 9 days).

Oldest Minnesota U.S. Representatives Since Statehood

Rank
US Rep
Party
Served
Age exited US House
1
Richard Buckler
Farmer-Labor
1935-1943
77 years, 2 months, 7 days
2
Jim Oberstar
DFL
1975-2011
76 years, 3 months, 24 days
3
Charles Davis
Republican
1903-1925
75 years, 5 months, 14 days
4
Loren Fletcher
Republican
1893-1903; 1905-1907
73 years, 10 months, 21 days
5
Roy Wier
DFL
1949-1961
72 years, 10 months, 9 days
6
William Gallagher
DFL
1945-1946
71 years, 3 months
7
Halvor Steenerson
Republican
1903-1923
70 years, 8 months, 3 days
8
Rick Nolan
DFL
1975-1981; 2013-present
70 years, 3 months*
9
Ancher Nelsen
Republican
1959-1974
70 years, 2 months, 20 days
10
Edmund Rice
Democrat
1887-1889
70 years, 17 days
11
Collin Peterson
DFL
1991-present
69 years, 8 months, 17 days*
* Still in office. Age calculated through March 17, 2014. Table compiled by Smart Politics.

Peterson is the fifth Minnesota U.S. Representative born in the state of North Dakota of the 134 men and women to serve in the office in state history.

That is tied with Pennsylvania for the fourth most of any state behind Minnesota (53 members), Iowa (six), and Maine (six).

Peterson was born in Fargo and knocked another Fargo-born congressman out of office during the Election of 1990 (Republican Arlan Stangeland, 1977-1991).

The remaining three North Dakota-born Gopher State U.S House members were DFLer Coya Knutson (born in Edmore, 1955-1959), DFLer Martin Sabo (Crosby, 1979-2007), and Republican Jim Ramstad (Jamestown, 1991-2009).

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Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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