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Minnesota Businessman Eyes Peterson Challenge #MN07

Peterson has a new opponent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Peterson has a new opponent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Scott Van Binsbergen, a Minnesota businessman and former staffer for retired Rep. Vin Weber, R-Minn., confirmed to CQ Roll Call on Wednesday that he is eyeing a bid against Rep. Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., in the 7th District.

Van Binsbergen said in a phone interview that he didn’t have a timeline for his decision but said he has met with the National Republican Congressional Committee, as well as delegates from the Minnesota Republican Party, as he considers the race.

“I’m extremely interested,” said Van Binsbergen, who in 2006 ran an unsuccessful bid for state House in Minnesota. “I’ve been out meeting with delegates and political people from around the district and around the state, but I haven’t put a timeline on [an announcement].”

Peterson’s seat is a top target for Republicans in 2014, and the GOP has been pushing him to retire since the start of the cycle. The congressman has said the efforts only make him want to seek re-election more, but he did not do much to quell retirement speculation with his meager second-quarter fundraising.

The 12-term Democrat represents a district that Republican presidential candidates have carried each of the past three presidential cycles; GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won the district in 2012 with 54 percent.

Minnesota’s 7th District is rated a Democrat Favored contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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