ST. PAUL — On his way out of office after representing Minnesota's rural Congressional District 7 for three decades, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson has publicly backed a Georgia congressman to assume Peterson's powerful seat as chairman of the House's Agriculture Committee.

In a letter dated on Friday, Nov. 6, Peterson said he backs Georgia's Democratic U.S. Rep. David Scott's bid for chairman, supporting the "seniority system" and committee members' "rising in the ranks to leadership positions." Peterson also noted that Scott would be the committee's first Black chairman in history, saying it would be an "important milestone" for Congress.

"While we haven't always agreed on every issue, we have worked together to find a path forward on those issues over the years," Peterson wrote before highlighting Scott's legislative work on nutrition assistance programs, crop and livestock farmers' safety nets and historically Black colleges and universities' agriculture programs.

Peterson's Nov. 3 loss to Republican challenger and Rep.-elect Michelle Fischbach marked the beginning of the end of his 30-year tenure representing CD7. Representing a rural district driven by agriculture, Peterson's rising through the ranks to chair of the House Agriculture Committee offered Minnesota and the Midwest at-large a major voice in ag policy on Capitol Hill.

Peterson's final day in his seat will be Jan. 3.