As expected, Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI3) will be facing a tough challenge next year should he choose to run for re-election. Derrick Van Orden (R-Hager City) announced Thursday that he is running for Congress again against Kind in 2022, a rematch of the 2020 election.
Van Orden received 48.6% of the vote in 2020 when he previously ran against Kind. The district was won by President Donald Trump in 2020 and 2016, and is seen as a prime opportunity for Republicans to pick up a seat in the House of Representatives. Republicans are hoping that, in addition to the changing politics of the district, the trend against the party holding the White House in mid-term elections will be enough to defeat Kind.
The Republican National Congressional Campaign Committee recently announced Kind is on their “exit list” and launched an ad campaign targeting the Democratic congressman.
Democrats will attack Van Orden as an extremist who was in Washington D.C. on January 6 to protest the certification of the election of President Joe Biden over former President Donald Trump.
Van Orden, according to the Dunn County News, claims that while he was in Washington he was not part of the violent insurrection at the Capitol.
Kind did make a statement in February that he is considering a run for U.S. Senate against Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). However, Kind has been considered a possible candidate for higher office before and then chose to run for re-election instead.
Given the changing district, the mid-term election trends and a strong challenger, Kind could decide to follow the example of former Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) and not seek re-election rather than risk losing a tough campaign. Holding onto the seat will then become even harder for the Democrats.