Republican attorney challenging Rep. Betty McCollum

Challenging McCollum
Ed Matthews, a Republican attorney from St. Paul, said he is challenging DFL U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum.
MPR Photo/Tom Scheck

Ed Matthews, a Republican attorney from St. Paul, is challenging DFL U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum in Minnesota's 4th Congressional District.

Matthews said he expects to make the race competitive by talking about cutting taxes and reducing the national debt. He said his background as a defense attorney and a accountant will help convince Congress to cut back on spending.

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum
U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., in Washington D.C.
MPR Photo/Sam Keenan

"We need much more prioritization, rigor and transparency in the budget process," Matthews said. "This is where my skill set comes in handy. We need more green eyeshades in Washington and fewer entrenched career politicians."

Matthews said reducing the national debt and reducing taxes can be accomplished at the same time by cutting spending on things like corporate and farm subsidies.

Matthews said it's important that voters in the 4th District give someone with a business background a chance to serve in Congress.

"I think it's important that people come out of the private sector and take a turn serving in Washington," he said. "We have too many people that are serving too long in Washington, D.C. that are just completely out of touch with reality. Congress' failure to make the 2003 tax cuts permanent are just an example of that."

Matthews has not been elected to public office before. McCollum is in her fourth term and won her last election with 70 percent of the vote.