12-term incumbent Rep. Ron Kind faces Derrick Van Orden in Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District

12-term incumbent Rep. Ron Kind faces Derrick Van Orden in Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District

October 9, 2020
  • Democratic Rep. Ron Kind will face Derrick Van Orden in Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District.
  • The district is located in southwestern Wisconsin along the state's border with Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota.
  • Van Orden was spurred to run for office after Rep. Kind voted for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Twelve-term incumbent Rep. Ron Kind looks to defend his House seat against Republican challenger Derrick Van Orden in Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District.

The candidates

Kind is an attorney and former special prosecutor for the La Crosse County prosecutor's office. He has held his position in the House of Representatives since 1996, now for 12 consecutive terms.

He currently sits on the House Committee on Ways and Means, and previously sat in the Natural Resources Committee for 14 years. Kind's 2020 campaign platform is centered around providing affordable healthcare to Americans, restoring fiscal accountability in Congress, and lowering the costs of education. 

Kind is currently chairman of the House New Democrat Coalition, a group of moderate Democrats that support fiscally responsible policies and bipartisanship in Congress, and voted against Rep. Nancy Pelosi's bid for Speaker of the House in 2019. 

Van Orden is a military veteran and Navy SEAL of 26 years. Since retiring from the military, Van Orden has spent time acting and writing a book about his experiences in the military. He was inspired to run for office after Rep. Kind voted for President Donald Trump's impeachment in December 2016. 

Van Orden's campaign platform is focused on rebuilding Wisconsin's economy, fully funding police forces, and protecting farming and agricultural communities in Wisconsin and around the country. 

The district

Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District is located in the southwestern region of the state along its border with Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. The 3rd District most notably includes the cities of La Crosse, Eau Claire, and much of the Wisconsin-side of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan region.

The district is also home to the counties of Adams, Buffalo, Crawford, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, La Crosse, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, Trempealeau, and Vernon as well as portions of Chippewa, Jackson, Juneau, Monroe, Richland, and Wood counties.

The 3rd District flipped from voting for former President Barack Obama by 11 points over GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 to backing Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by four points in a 49-45 percentage point split of the vote, according to Daily Kos.

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Kind has raised $1.6 million, more than double than Van Orden with $707,000. Kind also has a substantial cash on hand advantage over his challenger. He has over $3 million left to spend as the November election approaches, or over ten times more than Van Orden's $288,000.

What some of the experts say

The race between Kind and Van Orden is rated as "safe Democratic" by Inside Elections, "likely Democratic" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and "leans Democratic" by the Cook Political Report.

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