McCollum pulls out another win

Betty McCollum captured more than 61 percent of the vote.

by Kelsey Christensen

The race for Minnesota’s 4th congressional district ended Tuesday when Rep. Betty McCollum, the Democratic incumbent, pulled out another win, paving the way for her continued representation of the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus in the U.S. Capitol.

McCollum garnered 61.44 percent of the vote, besting Republican opponent Sharna Wahlgren, who gained 32.63 percent of support in the race.

“Minnesota had a good night,” McCollum said as election results rolled in Tuesday night.

The 4th congressional district covers Ramsey County, which includes St. Paul and some of its suburbs. Both candidates have Twin Cities ties.

McCollum, raised in South St. Paul and an alumna of St. Catherine University, also served eight years in the state House.

She won her first congressional election in 2000, making her the second congresswoman from Minnesota. She has continued the long tradition of Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party dominance in the district.

Her campaign focused heavily on transportation and renewable energy, she said.

A letter McCollum sent to Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf in June, in which she asked him to denounce the Washington Redskins name as derogatory to American Indians, became a defining piece of her recent time in office.

Wahlgren, who received both her undergraduate and law degree from the University of Minnesota, said she hopes McCollum takes action on the nation’s debt in her next term. As for Wahlgren’s future plans, she was unsure as of election night.

Wahlgren said she wanted to bring change to Congress.

“The congressional approval rating is embarrassing,” she said. “We need a stronger economy for everyone.”

Wahlgren said Congress needs to do a better job of working together.

“The national debt is a travesty,” she said.

McCollum’s said her top priorities for the next two years include continuing to work for Minnesotans and reaching across the aisle to work with Republicans when she starts her eighth term in office.