Retired Army Colonel Steve Toft, R-Osseo, announced Monday he is running in Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District to take on incumbent Rep. Ron Kind, a Democrat.

“For more than 30 years, I have served my country in combat zones across the globe. Now it is time for me to serve my country once again,” Toft said in a press release. “I am running for Congress to take on the red tape, burdensome regulations and bloated bureaucracy that is stifling our great country.”

“I am a patriot and a proven leader who loves our country more than anything,” said Toft. “I believe through hard work and dedication we can change Washington and get Congress to work for us.”

According to the release, Toft served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and his final assignment was Post Commander at Fort Sam Houston, Joint Base San Antonio.  A decorated officer, Toft was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal. Steve is Airborne, Air Assault and Expert Field Medical Badge qualified.

Toft, 59, grew up on a farm in Wisconsin, graduated from UW-Eau Claire and returned to Osseo after retirement. He lives there with his wife of 28 years Carla, together they have two grown children.

Issues concerning veterans’ care will certainly be an issue in the race. Like Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, Kind was contacted about the conditions at the Tomah VA Medical Center and there are questions of whether the congressman took appropriate action to bring the problems to light. Ironically, Tomah “whistleblower” Ryan Honl has endorsed Kind despite harsh criticism of the congressman.

The 3rd congressional district in Wisconsin is just one of twelve nationwide that voted for President Donald Trump while electing a Democrat to Congress. Kind won his eleventh term running unopposed in 2016. Trump won the district 49.3 percent to 44.8 percent.