Retired Air Force Major Dave Hughes of Karlstad announced Monday, Aug. 5 he is a Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District.

The incumbent is Rep. Collin Peterson, a DFLer from Detroit Lakes. Peterson defeated Hughes in the 2018 election with 52.1 percent of the vote to Hughes’ 47.8 percent.

“Congress is failing our nation with irresponsible overspending that saddles the American people with a crushing national debt that threatens the American Dream for our children and generations to come,” said Hughes in a news release. “We need more battle-tested veterans and principled leaders to take power back from the federal government and return it to the people.”

Hughes called Peterson, who was first elected to the House in 1990, a “career politician who supports more out-of-control spending through wasteful pork-barrel projects, higher taxes, and allowing a pathway to U.S. citizenship for illegal aliens, including murderers, gang members, and drug runners.”

Hughes said Peterson has a recent track record of voting against President Trump’s policies more than 80 percent of the time, including repeatedly opposing funding for the southern border wall.

Hughes blamed Peterson for putting agriculture in a “death spiral.”

“During Collin’s long tenure, despite his ostensible clout, Minnesota has lost most of its dairies, corn prices have stagnated, family farms have gone under, and everyone in western Minnesota knows a farmer who’s committed suicide,” Hughes said.

Hughes said he would champion conservative policies to secure the nation’s southern border and solve the present humanitarian crisis, rein in federal spending, reduce the debt, remove government bureaucrats from healthcare decisions, defend second amendment rights, be a strong advocate for the pro-life movement, protect family farms and ranches, and allow free markets to thrive.

Major Hughes is a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He flew the KC-135 Stratotanker, C-21 Learjet, and the MQ-9 Reaper UAS. Hughes deployed to combat zones seven times, participating in Operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Allied Force, and Iraqi Freedom.

Hughes lives in Karlstad with his wife, Amanda, and their seven children.

For more information about his campaign, go to www.HughesForCongress.US or find Dave Hughes on Facebook.