Yesterday Democratic State Senator Pat Kreitlow, who has served as the State Senator for the 23rd District since 2007, announced his intention to challenge Republican Rep. Sean Duffy in the 7th Congressional District in 2012. Here’s Sen. Kreitlow’s statement announcing his candidacy:
“I started exploring the possibility of a Congressional campaign after the new Republican majority began to show it had no interest in keeping its promise to focus on job creation and economic recovery back home” said Kreitlow. “The last straw for me was Sean Duffy’s vote to blow up Medicare, a promise we make to every middle class American that says decades of hard work will be rewarded with a retirement filled with the chance to stay healthy. Instead, he wants to give seniors a lame coupon and a shove back into the health insurance shark tank, even as he gives billionaires another tax cut. This is no time for a congressman to be so severely disconnected to what northwest Wisconsin needs from our representative to Washington.”
While Sen. Kreitlow was the “early bird” in announcing his candidacy to challenge Rep. Duffy, he likely won’t be the only Democrat running to unseat Duffy, as former Democratic State Senator and Tourism Secretary Kevin Shibilski seems to be laying the groundwork for a run. Shibilski had considered a run to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Dave Obey in 2010, but he ultimately bowed out, but not before saying he wished, “there had been more time and a more open process to select a candidate,” in reference to Democrats clearing the field for State Senator Julie Lassa, who ultimately lost to Sean Duffy.
I’ve long believed that a contested Democratic primary in the 7th CD in 2010 would have ensured that the best candidate – not the candidate hand-picked by Democratic Party movers and shakers – emerged to run against Sean Duffy, and hopefully we’ll see a contested primary in 2012, because whichever Democrat ends up running against Sean Duffy will need to be at the top of his or her game.