Peterson loss prompts scramble for House Agriculture chair

Peterson loss prompts scramble for House Agriculture chair

House members are jostling to take over as chair of the Agriculture Committee following the defeat of its current head, longtime Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). Peterson, who has chaired the committee for six of his nearly 30 years in Congress, suffered a major loss on Tuesday, with Republican Michelle Fischbach defeating the congressman by a stunning 13 points in a district long targeted by the GOP. The toppling of the 15-term incumbent means the House committee will no longer be represented by someone hailing from one of the more agriculturally-focused districts in the country, though the race to replace Peterson could provide some historic firsts. Rep. David Scott (Ga.), the second-highest ranking Democrat on the Agriculture panel, sent a letter to colleagues Thursday afternoon kicking off his campaign. “If elected, I would approach my role as the first African American to chair the Agriculture Committee, and the first African American from Georgia to chair any committee, with a principled focus on addressing inequities in agriculture and advancing racial progress for all,” he wrote. Reps. Jim Costa (Calif.) and Marcia Fudge (Ohio), the next two most senior members on the committee, are other possible contenders for the role. Neither responded to requests for comment. While it may draw less attention than other House panels, the Agriculture Committee is responsible for directing trillions of dollars to various agriculture priorities through the five-year farm bill as well as determining policy on food stamps, crop insurance, subsidies and conservation efforts. “You can’t just […]

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