WASHINGTON — The House Committee on Agriculture will have new leadership in the 117th Congress that convenes in January 2021 as the current chairman of the committee, Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota, lost his bid for a 16th term in the House of Representatives, and K. Michael Conaway of Texas chose not to stand for reelection and will retire at the end of this year.
Peterson played a pivotal role in crafting the last three farm bills serving either as chairman or ranking member on the agriculture committee. Conaway was committee chairman before the Democrats recaptured the House in 2018.
Two Democrats, Jim Costa of California and David Scott of Georgia, both having won their election contests, have indicated interest in the top job.
Twenty-six Democrats currently are members of the agriculture committee, and each sought reelection in 2020. Twenty-two members were reelected or were ahead of their Republican opponents as of this writing, and four, including Peterson, were defeated or were behind their Republican opponents.
Reelected were Scott, Costa, Marcia Fudge of Ohio, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Filemon Vela of Texas, Delegate Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, Alma Adams of North Carolina, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, Antonio Delgado of New York, Angie Craig of Minnesota, Josh Harder of California, Kim Schrier of Washington, Chellie Pingree of Maine, Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Salud Carbajal of California, Al Lawson of Florida, Tom O’Halleran of Arizona, Jimmy Panetta of California, Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona and Cindy Axne of Iowa.
Defeated or lagging their Republican opponents were T.J. Cox of California, Anthony Brindisi of New York and Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico.
On the Republican side of the aisle, three current committee members announced they would retire at end of this year and did not stand for reelection. These included Conaway, Ted Yoho of Florida and Ralph Abraham of Louisiana.
Committee member Roger Marshall of Kansas won his election bid for the US Senate.
With those exceptions, all current Republican committee members sought and secured reelection.
They included Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania, Austin Scott of Georgia, Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, Doug LaMalfa of California, Rodney Davis of Illinois, Rick Allen of Georgia, Mike Bost of Illinois, David Rouzer of North Carolina, Trent Kelly of Mississippi, James Comer of Kentucky, Don Bacon of Nebraska, Neal Dunn of Florida, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Jim Baird of Indiana, Jim Hagedorn of Minnesota, Chris Jacobs of New York and Troy Balderson of Ohio.
Committee assignments won’t be made until after the 117th Congress convenes in January.