MOORHEAD - Fresh off an announcement that he will run for re-election this year, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson is being hit with a new ad from national Republicans tying the 12-term Democrat to the Affordable Care Act.
Starting today, local viewers will see a 30-second spot featuring a small-business owner in Willmar - part of Peterson's 7th Congressional District - who is unhappy with the new health law, commonly called Obamacare. It's part of the National Republican Congressional Committee's recent $50,000 ad buy split between the Fargo-Moorhead area and the Twin Cities.
"The fact that Collin Peterson recently voted to keep Obamacare threatens the future of my business," Randy Czarnetzki, who owns a hardware store, says in the ad. "After all these years, Collin Peterson is part of the status quo."
Peterson voted against the Affordable Care Act when it passed the House in 2010. Since then, he has voted against several Republican-led efforts to repeal the legislation.
"After 23 years in Washington, Collin Peterson has lost touch with the needs of Minnesota small businesses and families," NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said in a statement.
"I voted against Obamacare and would again if it was the same bill," Peterson said in an emailed statement. "Outside money, the NRCC and super PACs are trying to hijack the election from the local people."
The NRCC targeted Peterson's district early, hitting him with attack ads in the Fargo-Moorhead metro in August, before he had announced whether he would run for re-election. Peterson officially launched his campaign in Moorhead on Monday.
Minnesota's sprawling 7th District is one of the most conservative-leaning districts in the state, but Peterson has sailed to easy re-election for the plast two decades. He will likely run against state Sen. Torrey Westrom, an Elbow Lake Republican, in November.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Kyle Potter at (701) 241-5502