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In St. Croix County, Democrats Hope To Harness Suburban Anti-Trump Energy

Once A GOP Stronghold, County Has Swung More Democratic. Could It Be Key In Races For Congress, President?

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The St. Croix County Democratic Party hosted a chili cookoff and candidate meetup on March 11
The St. Croix County Democratic Party hosted a chili cookoff and candidate meetup on March 11, 2020. It would be among the last in-person political events ahead of the special election in the 7th Congressional District. Rob Mentzer/WPR

In 2016, Tammy Moothedan was working as a home health aide in rural western Wisconsin. Every day, she passed “Trump for President” signs. But she was still shocked when Donald Trump won both the state and the presidency.

The Women’s March in Washington, D.C. in January 2017 was the first time Moothedan had ever participated in a political protest. She went there with her daughter.

“When I came back, I thought, well, what can I do next?” said Moothedan, now 56 and an occupational therapist in Hudson. “What can I do now to make sure that wasn’t just a one-off?”

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She joined the St. Croix County Democratic Party, and this year became its co-chair. Moothedan is now part of an effort by Democrats to capitalize on political shifts in the western Wisconsin county, a traditionally heavily Republican area that’s showing signs of swinging toward Democrats. It’s part of a nationwide shift in the voting patterns of suburban areas in the Trump era that some say makes the suburbs key to the 2020 presidential election.

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