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Kind Wins Reelection In 3rd Congressional District Race, Fitzgerald To Replace Sensenbrenner

Few Surprises In Wisconsin's Other Congressional Races

U.S. Capitol
The Capitol is seen in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

The races to determine Wisconsin’s congressional delegation saw voters sending many of the incumbents back to Washington, including in the highly contested 3rd Congressional District.

Despite continued support for President Donald Trump in western Wisconsin, incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, of La Crosse, held on to his seat, defeating Republican challenger Derrick Van Orden, of Hager City, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL who was endorsed by Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. It will be Kind’s 13th term.

The Associated Press called the race shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday. With more than 99 percent of precincts reporting, Kind had 51.42 percent of the vote while Van Orden had 48.58 percent.

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After the 3rd District turned out in favor of Trump in 2016, this year’s congressional race was considered highly competitive by both political analysts and national fundraising groups, which poured money into advertising in the district. The district includes La Crosse and Eau Claire, and covers much of western Wisconsin.

Van Orden painted the race as a choice between a political outsider, likening himself to Trump, and a “liberal elitist” like Kind. Kind ran on his record as a moderate and his promise to work with his Republican colleagues.

Earlier in the morning Wednesday, Kind declared victory on social media.

“It’s been the honor of my life to represent the area where I was born and raised and where Tawni and I have raised our family,” Kind tweeted. “To that end, I want to thank the people of this district for sending me back to Washington.

Fitzgerald Heading To Congress With 5th District Win

State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, has won his bid for the state’s 5th Congressional District. Fitzgerald beat out Democrat Tom Palzewicz, of Brookfield.

The win keeps the southeast Wisconsin district in Republican control after U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner chose not to seek reelection.

The seat covers much of Milwaukee’s western suburbs and portions of Jefferson, Washington, Dodge, Milwaukee, Walworth and Waukesha counties.

After Tuesday night’s win, Fitzgerald said in a statement he was proud of the “positive, aggressive campaign” he ran despite this year’s “unprecedented challenges.”

“The events of recent months have further cemented the idea that we need experienced, proven conservative leaders in Congress to fight for Wisconsin values and protect our democracy,” Fitzgerald said in the statement. “I’m excited to bring my years of experience championing conservative reforms to our nation’s capital, where my first priority will be safely reopening the economy so that Wisconsin residents and businesses can get back to work.”

The Associated Press called the race around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, with Fitzgerald earning 65.51 percent of the vote with nearly 75 percent of precincts reporting.

Results Of Wisconsin’s Other Congressional Races:

  • U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, won his first reelection bid for the 1st Congressional District in southern Wisconsin, fending off a challenge from Democrat Roger Polack, of Caledonia. The race was called by the Associated Press at 10:49 p.m. Tuesday with Steil earning 64.97 percent of the vote with 86.49 percent of precincts reporting.
  • In the 2nd Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth, won his fifth term, beating Republican challenger Peter Theron, of Madison. The Associated Press called the race at 10:17 p.m. Tuesday when Pocan had 71.48 percent of the vote with 70.3 precincts reporting.
  • Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, of Milwaukee, also won reelection in the 4th Congressional District, beating out Republican Tim Rogers and independent candidate Robert Raymond, both of Milwaukee, for her ninth term in Congress. When the race was called by the Associated Press at around 9:01 p.m. Tuesday, Moore was winning with 64 percent of votes.
  • In the 6th Congressional District, Republican U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, of Glenbeulah, won his fourth term after facing Democratic challenger Jessica King of Oshkosh. With 60.12 percent of the vote and 84.58 percent of precincts reporting, the race was called by the Associated Press at 11:20 a.m. Tuesday.
  • U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, again beat out Democrat Tricia Zunker of Wausau in the 7th Congressional District. The candidates first faced off in a special election in May after former U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy resigned. When the Associated Press called the race at 11:18 p.m. Tuesday, Tiffany was leading with 61.75 percent of the vote with 87.9 percent of precincts reporting.
  • Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, of Allouez, also held onto his seat in the 8th Congressional District for a third term, winning against Democratic state Rep. Amanda Stuck, of Appleton. The Associated Press called the race at 11:25 p.m. Tuesday with 76.21 percent of precincts reporting. At that time, Gallagher was winning with 65.09 percent of votes.