Tha Associated Press is reporting that Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI02) attempted to talk state Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) out of running for Congress in the first congressional district. Pocan is supporting Randy Bryce in the Democratic primary.
“Pocan said Monday he tried to explain to Barca how hard it would be to get in the race with the Aug. 14 primary just three and a half months away,” the Associated Press is reporting. “Pocan has endorsed Bryce in the race. Barca said last week he was at least several days away from deciding on whether to run.”
Barca represented the district from May 1993 to January 1995 after winning a special election to replace Congressman Les Aspin. Barca lost the election to Republican Mark Neumann in November 1994 and Republicans have held the seat since.
Barca began considering a run in the first congressional district after House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI01) announced he was not running for re-election. Two other Democrats are already running, Bryce and Janesville school teacher Cathy Myers.
Bryce has already lost three elections, has demonstrated little knowledge of the issues, and paid for fake Twitter followers while only catching up on his child support payments when he decided to run for Congress.
Barca would have to give up his Assembly seat to run for Congress. Until he was ousted last September over his support for Foxconn, Barca was the Democrats’ minority leader. He was replaced by state Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) who once received a citation in a prostitution sting and threatened a female colleague.
Wisconsin Democrats have shielded their favorite candidates before from primaries with disastrous results. In 2010, longtime Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI07) announced his retirement and attempted to play kingmaker in choosing his successor. State Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) was anointed the Democratic candidate while state Sen. Russ Decker (D-Wausau) and state Sen. Pat Kreitlow (D-Chippewa Falls) ran for re-election in their state Senate seats. All three candidates lost, with the current incumbent Sean Duffy (R-WI07) defeating Lassa for the congressional seat with 54 percent of the vote.
On the Republican side, UW Board of Regents member Bryan Steil, an attorney and a former aide to Ryan, appears to be the most credible of the Republican candidates. Steil raised $250,000 in just three days after announcing his candidacy.
The other Republicans running in the First Congressional District include Nick Polce, who moved to Wisconsin from Connecticut to run against Ryan; the racist and anti-Semitic Paul Nehlen, Madison protester Jeremy “Segway Boy” Ryan, and frequent ballot-entry Spencer Zimmerman.