Hughes had run against him in previous two elections.

Minnesota Republicans on Saturday endorsed former state senator and former lieutenant governor Michelle Fischbach to run against longtime U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson in a pro-Donald Trump district in the western part of the state.

The online vote favored Fischbach over Dave Hughes, who has come close to beating Peterson, a conservative Democrat seeking his 16th term in Congress. It sets the stage for what is likely to be one of the most closely watched House races in the 2020 elections.

State GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan said the party is committed to working with Fischbach.

"We are proud to have Fischbach and her incredible experience join our strong ticket of candidates who will turn Minnesota red and send more Republicans to represent our state in Congress," Carnahan said in a statement.

Peterson, a national figure as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has relied on his influence on farm policy and his willingness to buck his party to win a district that Trump carried by 31 percentage points.

Peterson has said that running for re-election was not an easy decision because the country is "so polarized right now."