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Two names left in race US Ag Minister

According to reports, Obama is considering Collin Peterson and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin for being the new Minster of Agriculture. Both members have agriculture experience, but they also come from GOP-leaning districts.

Peterson’s rural western Minnesota district has trended red in recent years and it went for President Bush in both the 2000 and 2004 elections. It took Peterson four attempts before he was finally elected in 1990. With a large wheat-farming industry in his district, he moved quickly up the ladder of the House Agriculture Committee and became its chairman in the Democratic takeover.

Herseth Sandlin takes care of all of South Dakota as its at-large representative. And she is a spot of blue in this red state. The last time South Dakota voted for a Democratic presidential candidate was in 1964. Herseth Sandlin came to Congress in a 2004 special election when she was 30, making her one of the youngest members of the House, and she is seen as having strong agriculture credentials. And not only is she from a rural state, she’s a member of the Agriculture Committee and also served as executive director of the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation in 2003.

Neither Peterson’s nor Herseth Sandlin’s office responded to repeated requests for comment.

Natalie Berkhout

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