PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, WI – No candidate for for Congress had a bigger week than Derrick Van Orden. President Trump endorsed Derrick yesterday, a key national leader who won the 3rd District by 5 points in 2020. President Trump is the latest national Republican leader to endorse Derrick including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Whip Steve Scalise, Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, Senators Ron Johnson and Tom Cotton, and the entire Wisconsin Republican Congressional Delegation.
Derrick’s 2020 opponent, Rep. Ron Kind, announced he is retiring at the end of this term making Derrick the frontrunner for this now open seat key to flipping the House majority for Republicans.
Take a look at some of the coverage from this week:
Former President Donald Trump has officially endorsed Republican Derrick Van Orden in his currently unopposed bid for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, a key swing race in the upcoming midterms.
Van Orden, R-Prairie du Chien, a loyal Trump ally, is now the only candidate in the race for the seat after longtime Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, announced his retirement earlier this week.
“Derrick is a former Navy SEAL Senior Chief who bravely served and defended our Country. He strongly supports our Military, Veterans Law Enforcement, and he will always fight for Secure Borders, the Second Amendment, and our incredible Farmers. Derrick has my Complete and Total Endorsement,” Trump said in a statement that Van Orden’s team sent out Thursday.
Trump’s endorsement is further indication that the race for Wisconsin’s 3rd will be a key battleground for Republicans and Democrats alike as the fate of the House is up for grabs.
Van Orden targeted Democratic economic and immigration policies in thanking Trump for the endorsement.
“I will work tirelessly to stop Nancy Pelosi’s tax and spend leadership in the House and I am looking forward to having you all on The Team,” Van Orden said in a statement.
“Republicans are well-positioned to win this congressional seat for the first time in a quarter century,” said Wisconsin GOP Chairman Andrew Hitt in a statement.
Republican Derrick Van Orden is seeking Kind’s seat in 2022 after barely losing to him last year.
“The reason we were fairly successful last time — clearly we didn’t win — but the reason that groundswell is so great now and the reason Ron Kind retired, is that they know that our message is better,” said Van Orden.
2020 was Kind’s toughest re-election bid.
“The fact that Ron Kind only won by three points and then you have Derrick Van Orden turn around, right away after the election and say that he’s going to run again,”said Anthony Chergosky, Asst. Professor at UW-La Crosse. “No question that that would have played a role, or at least been a factor in Ron Kind’s decision making.”
Political analysts say Kind’s decision to retire is a blow to efforts by Democrats to hold onto their slender majority. Kind’s largely rural district has tilted increasingly Republican.
Today, 13-term Democratic Rep. Ron Kind (WI-03) is expected to announce he will not seek reelection in 2022, news first reported by Politico. Kind’s retirement is a major setback for House Democrats: he’s one of just seven Democrats remaining from a district Donald Trump carried in 2020, had proven appeal in rural western Wisconsin, and is a former chair of the moderate New Democrat Coalition.
…Redistricting posed additional uncertainty for Kind. In 2011, Wisconsin Republicans actually made the 3rd CD bluer to shore up then-GOP Rep. Sean Duffy in the northern 7th CD. But now that control of state government is split, a more compact or court-drawn map could make the 3rd CD slightly more Republican. Without Kind, Democrats will be hard-pressed to keep the 3rd CD in their column.
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