Betty McCollum, Democratic incumbent

Betty McCollum is running as the Democratic Party candidate for the Congressional 4th District.

Lacey Crisp

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., the first woman from Minnesota to be elected to the U.S. Congress in more than four decades, is running for a third term.

McCollum is running for re-election in the 4th District, which consists of St. Paul and a few of its suburbs.

McCollum started her career in the North St. Paul City Council in 1986. In 1993, she was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives and served four terms.

She sits on the Education and the Workforce Committee, where, she said, she wants to continue working to make education more affordable.

“In order for Minnesota to stay strong, we need to have a big investment in higher education,” McCollum said.

She sponsored the College Affordability and Access program, a part of the Higher Education Act that would decrease loan origination fees and increase the amount of money students can get through loans.

“I am running for re-election to get America back on track,” McCollum said. “I am committed to putting our families first and keeping our public schools strong.”

She has visited Iraq twice and said al-Qaida needs to be stopped because it has spread to 60 countries.

“We do have to refocus on the war on terrorism,” McCollum said.

In the United States, McCollum said, Congress must fix health care, because the current system is hurting families and small businesses. She said she also wants to establish universal health care for children.

McCollum said she opposes the recent tax cuts and that they are irresponsible.

David Strom, president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, said he disagrees with McCollum’s opinions on taxes.

“I am a firm believer that the tax cuts are too modest,” Strom said. “If we are interested in economic growth, the best way to do that is to stop taxing citizens’ income,” Strom said.

Strom said McCollum is a very consistent liberal.

“Rep. McCollum has been very consistent throughout her career in support of higher taxes and big government,” Strom said.

Randall Moody is the manager of federal policy and politics for the National Education Association. The group endorsed McCollum unanimously.

McCollum, like the education association, opposes school vouchers and has fought for issues important to the association, such as education and Social Security, Moody said.

“She has worked hard on the higher-education reauthorization bill,” he said. “I think she is a really special legislator, and we want to make sure she stays there.”

When asked about her predictions for the next legislative session, McCollum said of her party, “I am hoping we come back in the majority.”