Endless elections: Two candidates announce they will run against Rep. Ron Kind in 2022

Political analysts says the early campaign kick off points to the importance of the 3rd district seat, but warn voters may not be ready for another election cycle
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STEVE APPS

Doug Milks disinfects voting booths after being used as voters, ignoring a stay-at-home order over the coronavirus threat, cast ballots in the state's presidential primary election in the gym at East High School, Tuesday, April 7, 2020 in Madison, Wis. (Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)- Congressman Ron Kind isn’t up for re-election for another 18 months, but the democrat is already facing two challengers. 

Republican Derrick Van Orden, who lost to Kind by 2-points in November, announced he is running for the seat again. Joining Van Orden on the campaign trail is newcomer, democrat Brett Knudsen.  

The announcements are unusually early.  Kind isn’t up for re-election until November of 2022. Both challengers tell News 8 Now they are kicking off their campaigns early o do something they both say Kind is not; taking time to listen to 3rd district voters. “It gives us more time to really sit down in front of people. I’ll have a cup of coffee with anyone and explain to them why our vision for the U.S. is better than theirs.”, says Derrick Van Orden. “I want to make my name known. And; I want to be able to inform constituents and I want to talk with them and have conversations and if they don’t believe in my policies, I can have that open conversation with them.”, says Brett Knudsen. 

Congressman Kind released this statement following his challengers’ announcements. “Right now, Wisconsinites need us to come together, defeat this virus, and get our economy fully functioning again—that’s exactly what I’m working to do. The last thing anyone wants or needs is 18 months of lying, partisan politics, and bickering.” 

Political analyst Joe Heim says the early kick off is unusual, but he’s really not surprised. Kind edged out Van Orden by just 2 points. Both parties believe they have shot to win the seat in 2022, and with it, control of the U.S. house. “This was one of the most competitive races. That in sense means for the next two years, national republicans and national democrats are going to be focusing their time and attention on this campaign.”, says Heim.

There are some advantages to a long campaign. The candidates will have more time to organize and raise money.I will be you they will break records in terms of campaign fundraising.”, but Heim says there are also risks.I think people are going to be really tired of it.” 

That’s where republicans and democrats agree to disagree. State Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt says the jump start is key. “That is the road to victory. It’s those constant communications, staying in touch and speaking to people about what’s meaningful to them and important to them.”, says Hitt.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Nellie Sires believes in the same strategy. “We have already shown the strength of our year-round organizing model and we are super proud to be continuing that effort and we are also ramping up year-round communications.”, says Sires.

Which means Wisconsin voters can expect endless campaign calls and commercials to start now, whether they are ready or not.