ST. PAUL — Former-Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, looking to challenge one of Minnesota's longest-serving Democratic congressmen, has received the most high-profile political endorsement possible: the President of the United States.

Republican President Donald Trump on Monday, March 2, tweeted that Fischbach has his "Complete & Total Endorsement." Fischbach is running to unseat longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, who has served western Minnesota's rural 7th Congressional District since 1991.

"Michelle will protect the unborn, is Strong on Crime & Borders, Cutting Taxes, your #2A, Loves our Military, Vets, & will stand w/ our Great Farmers," Trump tweeted Monday.

Republicans see the district as major flip opportunity come 2020, despite Peterson's longtime incumbency. The district voted for Trump by a 30-point margin in 2016 over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and Peterson held onto his seat by a 4% margin in 2018 when challenged by Republican Dave Hughes.

Once Fischbach entered the District 7 race, political forecasters like the Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball changed their ratings on the race from "leans left" to "tossup." Peterson has not yet officially announced whether he intends to run in 2020.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Fischbach has won over the endorsements of U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, as well as state Republican party leadership and lawmakers.

Fischbach was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1996, growing in committee leadership roles before becoming the state's first female president of the Minnesota Senate. In 2018, she assumed the role of Minnesota's lieutenant governor. She holds a bachelor's degree from St. Cloud State University and a Juris Doctorate from the William Mitchell College of Law.