July 17, 2024

Steve Boyd challenges Fischbach for Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District seat

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Jake Sias
Grant County Herald

Steve Boyd has announced his candidacy for the U.S. representative seat for Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District. Boyd, who resides in Kensington, is challenging the incumbent, Michelle Fischbach, in what is shaping up to be a contentious primary race.

Republican delegates in the district recently failed to endorse a candidate, leading to a stalemate after three rounds of voting. Fischbach, who required 60 percent of the vote to secure the party’s endorsement, fell short. This impasse followed a motion to suspend the rules, concluding the endorsement process without a clear nominee.

The primary election in August will now determine the Republican candidate. Given the district’s shift to the right in recent years, the chosen nominee is expected to have a strong advantage in the November general election. Boyd framed the deadlock as “a victory for our grassroots campaign,” signaling his determination to challenge Fischbach’s tenure.

Boyd, a self-described “grassroots America First conservative,” emphasizes a departure from what he views as Fischbach’s entrenched political maneuvering. “I am willing to take action. I see Representative Fischbach has been in office for a long time, and she plays the game. It’s very party-oriented,” Boyd stated. He criticized the political gamesmanship he believes compromises effective governance, saying, “We keep playing political games, and the people of this nation are caught in the middle of them.”

Fischbach, a former state senator and lieutenant governor, has a notable political history. She defeated Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson in 2020, a significant victory given Peterson’s long-standing influence in the district. Peterson, a conservative Blue Dog Democrat, had been in office since 1990 and played a key role in shaping farm policy as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

The district, known for its agricultural significance, saw Fischbach unseat Peterson by a substantial margin. However, her recent departure from the House Agriculture Committee to join the House Ways and Means Committee has drawn criticism from Boyd. He argues that this move neglected the district’s agricultural interests, stating, “The district is the third in the nation in terms of the number of farms, and that it was not truly representing the district in ways that will impact its citizens the most.” Fischbach’s decision to leave the Agriculture Committee marked the first time in 50 years that the district did not have representation on this influential body. 

Fischbach retains substantial support, including an endorsement from former President Donald Trump. She secured reelection in 2022 with 67% of the vote, demonstrating her strong base within the district. Despite this, Boyd remains unfazed, asserting his support for Trump while downplaying the significance of the endorsement. “He doesn’t necessarily have a great track record with endorsements, so I am not too concerned by this one,” Boyd remarked.

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