Ashland City Council member Kelly Westlund to announce run against Republican Rep. “Struggling” Sean Duffy

From my email inbox comes news of a challenger to Republican Rep. “Struggling” Sean Duffy.

On Tuesday, December 10, Ashland City Council member Kelly Westlund will launch her candidacy in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District on a theme of economic populism and returning power to everyday people across northern Wisconsin.

Westlund will be at the Wausau Labor Temple tomorrow at 11am CT to kick-off a week-long “Progress For The People” tour that will feature discussions with farmers, victims of job loss, grandparents on Social Security, and other working people in communities across the district. Stops include Wausau Tuesday, Superior Wednesday, Hudson Friday, and Rhinelander next Tuesday.

Her announcement tour will end back in Wausau on Wednesday, December 17 with a press conference on the same day Congressman Sean Duffy holds a “Summit on Homelessness and Hunger” in Wausau — an intentional move by Westlund’s campaign to highlight that Duffy talks one way about the issues while visiting Wisconsin, and then votes with powerful interests when he’s back in Washington, DC.

“The people of northern Wisconsin deserve a real representative in Congress, somebody who fights for hard-working people and is willing to take on powerful interests,” said Kelly Westlund. “Sean Duffy consistently says one thing to his constituents in Wisconsin and then votes against them in Washington, DC. During my ‘Progress For The People’ announcement tour, I will talk about economic opportunity, jobs, Social Security, and other issues of importance to middle-class and working people, and I’ll hold Sean Duffy accountable for his actions in Congress.”

Westlund’s campaign logo features the tagline “Let’s get to work, Wisconsin!” to highlight both her focus on issues of importance to working families and the grassroots nature of her campaign. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee with over 25,000 members in Wisconsin will be asking its local grassroots base to attend Westlund’s “Progress For The People” events. Supporters can sign up for campaign updates and donate to help elect Westlund at

Duffy was called the “Shutdown Congressman” by a national reporter because of his heavy involvement in the shutdown of the government — a move that experts say wasted $24 billion in addition to hurting millions of working families.

In October, Westlund led an event challenging Duffy over his role in causing the government shutdown. Speaking outside his Hudson office, she called on him to vote for an immediate reopening of the government.

Westlund has served on the Ashland City Council since 2011. Westlund is a small business owner, operating a consulting firm that partners with local farms, small businesses, local governments, and civic organizations to work on economic and community development projects. Westlund previously served as Executive Director for the Alliance for Sustainability and was an adjunct professor of sustainable community development at her alma mater, Northland College.

Westlund is a graduate of Leadership Wisconsin, a statewide leadership development program, and Emerge Wisconsin, an organization that trains Democratic women to run for public office in Wisconsin. She spoke at the Wisconsin State Democratic Party Convention in June. Westlund grew up in a military family. She moved to Ashland 12 years ago and lives with her husband Caleb.

Thanks to hyper-partisan redistricting by Republicans in the state legislature, Rep. Duffy’s district is more Republican than it has been in years past, so Kelly Westlund certainly has an uphill battle ahead of her if she hopes to unseat Rep. Duffy.

To learn more about Kelly Westlund, you can visit her Facebook page or her campaign website.


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6 thoughts on “Ashland City Council member Kelly Westlund to announce run against Republican Rep. “Struggling” Sean Duffy

  1. Kelly Westlund is a new candidate which is not easy for Democrats in the state to find. Kelly Westlund has the energy to get around the district to meet people and in a district of that geographic size is important. It won’t be easy to win but I think she can.

  2. After redistricting in 2011, there is no chance to win with the same old lame national liberal messagee. At least a +50,000 Conservative leaning pick up in that district. She won’t get much national help once the DNC sees that she doesn’t have much more than Republican-bad Democrat-good antics.

  3. The chance of Kelly Westlund knocking off Sean Duffy are possible but not impossible. I think her chances are a lot better if the people of the 7th Congressional District fund a large portion of her campaign and network with their friends to get her elected.

    The big mistake I see from the D.C. campaign managers is keeping the candidate on the phone raising money the entire election cycle. In a district the geographical size of the 7th and across 6 media markets its better for the candidate to go everywhere in person that rely on tv or radio ads which will be drowned out by every other campaign on the ballet or out of district.

  4. Kelly who? Boy was that a flash in the pan or what. Webpage still barely a page. Tweets down to none. It’s not even a week yet Kelly, not too late to stay in Ashland as a councilor.

    1. Not to worry, “nowhere…,” it’s the Xmas season, subzero temps, and double digit snowfall in the north woods of Wisconsin; not a creature is stirring, not even the Tea party-poops.

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