King vs Van Orden

The Badger Project is a nonpartisan, citizen-supported journalism nonprofit in Wisconsin that investigates state government, politics and related matters.

Derrick Van Orden wants another shot at Ron Kind. Van Orden announced his candidacy for Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District on Wednesday, April 7, hoping for another chance to try unseat the longtime congressman. 

The election isn't until November 2022, and Van Orden will have to win the Republican August primary first -- which he did two years ago.

Derrick challenged Kind in 2020, resulting in the closest race Kind has had in nearly 25 years in office. Kind, a Democrat from La Crosse, carried 51% of the vote last November, receiving nearly 200,000 votes.  That community was key to his victory. Derrick Van Orden, a Republican from Prairie du Chien, had almost 190,000 votes.

In most of his previous re-election bids, Kind has won by 10 percentage points instead of 2 points.

"This race has already been highlighted by Democrats and Republicans as critical to ending the disastrous one party rule now plaguing D.C. and will be a focal point of the 2022 election cycle on the national level," the Van Orden campaign said in a news release announcing his second bid.

In fact, record cash was spent in 2020: Kind raised and spent about $3 million while Van Orden's chest was nearly $2 million. The Badger Project reported in February that campaign records showed that the almost $5 million in direct donations to 3rd Congressional District in at least 20 years.

"I'm running to bring Wisconsin values back to Washington DC, stand up for our Constitution, and truly represent the people of the 3rd District instead of becoming rich in office by protecting personal power as my opponent has done for over two decades," the Republican said in his campaign announcement. "Now is the time for a change in leadership in Western Wisconsin, and I will defeat Ron Kind in 2022.”

The district includes most of Pierce County and extends to La Crosse.

Anne Jacobson is the news director for the River Falls Journal. You can contact her at ajacobson@orourkemediagroup.com

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