The heavily agricultural 7th Congressional District stretches from the Canadian border to southern Minnesota. Peterson, a licensed pilot, often makes the rounds at the controls of a single-engine plane. He's also skilled with a guitar, playing with a congressional rock and country band called The Second Amendments.
In Washington, Peterson is among a diminishing group of "Blue Dog" Democrats, who are moderate to conservative members on fiscal matters. That has served him well back home, where he regularly rings up double-digit victories in a district that tends to back Republicans for president. In 2012, Peterson managed 60 percent of the vote at the same time that Republican presidential nominee took 54 percent in the district.