Collin Peterson By the Numbers

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

US Rep
Age exited US House
Richard Buckler
77 years, 2 months, 7 days
Jim Oberstar
76 years, 3 months, 24 days
Charles Davis
75 years, 5 months, 14 days
Loren Fletcher
1893-1903; 1905-1907
73 years, 10 months, 21 days
Roy Wier
72 years, 10 months, 9 days
William Gallagher
71 years, 3 months
Halvor Steenerson
70 years, 8 months, 3 days
Rick Nolan
1975-1981; 2013-present
70 years, 3 months*
Ancher Nelsen
70 years, 2 months, 20 days
Edmund Rice
70 years, 17 days
Collin Peterson
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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