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La Crosse City Council member Dr. Mark Neumann enters race for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District

Retired pediatrician previously challenged fellow Democrat US Rep. Ron Kind in 2020 election

U.S. Capitol in snow
A winter storm delivers heavy snow to the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Another Democrat has entered the already crowded race for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District.

Retired pediatrician and La Crosse City Council member Dr. Mark Neumann announced his candidacy Thursday.

This is Neumann’s second run for the district after challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind in the 2020 election. He won just over 19 percent of the votes against Kind in the 2020 primary.

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Neumann is the fifth Democrat to announce their campaign for the seat after Kind announced he wouldn’t be seeking reelection. Kind has held the seat for more than 25 years. The 3rd Congressional District is seen as the state’s most politically competitive seat in the 2022 election.

Mark Neumann
Dr. Mark Neumann visited the La Crosse County Democratic Party office Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 to announce his candidacy for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional seat. Photo courtesy of Dr. Mark Neumann

Neumann will face state Sen. Brad Pfaff, of Onalaska, Eau Claire business owner Rebecca Cooke, retired CIA officer Deb McGrath and U.S. Navy veteran Brett Knudsen in an Aug. 9, 2022, primary.

Kind endorsed Pfaff in October.

Neumann said he was compelled to run against Kind in 2020 because of his lack of support for single-payer health care, sometimes called “Medicare for All.” He said the same issue has pushed him to try again.

“I was waiting to see if we were going to have one (Democratic candidate) that could represent these progressive ideas, particularly Medicare for All. And as I was watching them come forward, none of them were able to do that,” Neumann said. “Not being happy with their lack of support for something that I think is essential for all of us Americans, I said, ‘Well, we’re going to do it again.’”

Protecting the environment, justice and national and community security are Neumann’s other policy priorities.

Neumann said he is glad to have competition in the Democratic primary and having multiple candidates will allow voters to decide what their policy priorities are.

He believes what sets his campaign apart from his fellow candidates is his commitment to finding solutions that benefit the entire community

“We’re all in this together as a society, and even better than that as a community, as we care for one another. And I believe that that’s just my nature,” Neumann said. “I like to tell people sometimes that I have an allergy … to something that I call ‘us against them-ism.’”

Neumann said one takeaway from his previous campaign is the importance of in-person contact with voters after being restricted in his campaigning in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year, it’s going to be different. We’ve got two years of experience of living with COVID and we have ways of protecting ourselves,” he said. “So I think we’re gonna have a different kind of campaign experience that’s going to be way more helpful to all of us.