Sean Duffy doesn’t live in the real world, and here’s several potential Democratic challengers to Duffy

Public Policy Polling (PPP) recently polled two dozen Republican-held U.S. House districts for the progressive organization MoveOn. The only Wisconsin district that was polled was the 7th Congressional District, and they found that Congressman Sean Duffy has a 40% approval rating and a 46% disapproval rating, is losing to “generic Democrat” by three percentage points on the initial ballot, and is losing to “generic Democrat” by four percentage points on the informed ballot.

Since there has been very little movement whatsoever on the Democratic side of the ledger in the 2014 race in the 7th Congressional District of Wisconsin, I’ll list several Democrats who may run against Duffy:

  • Ashland Alderwoman Kelly Westlund – Westlund is a graduate of Emerge Wisconsin, an organization that trains Democratic women to run for public office in Wisconsin, and she spoke at the DPW state convention earlier this year. Given that Emerge is a stronger organization than the DPW is these days, Westlund might be the strongest potential candidate that Democrats could run against Duffy.
  • State Assemblywoman Janet Bewley – DPW Chairman Mike Tate said via Twitter several months ago that he’d like to see Bewley run against Duffy. Bewley represents the Ashland area in the State Assembly.
  • State Senator Bob Jauch – Jauch is the Democratic standard-bearer in Northern Wisconsin, and he’s been one of the sharpest critics of Governor Scott Walker and his Republican allies in the Wisconsin State Legislature.
  • State Assemblyman Nick Milroy – Milroy represents the Superior area in the State Assembly, and, prior to entering politics, he served in the United States Navy.
  • State Assemblyman Stephen Smith – Smith won an 2012 election to the State Assembly by defeating then-incumbent Republican Roger Rivard after Rivard made controversial remarks about statutory rape.
  • State Assemblywoman Mandy Wright – Wright, a public school teacher, won a 2012 election to the State Assembly from the Wausau area. She’s best-known for giving this emotional speech opposing a forced ultrasound bill in which she talked about having been a victim of sexual assault. Wright is fundraising for re-election to the state assembly, so it’s highly unlikely that she’ll run against Duffy However, she hasn’t publicly ruled out that possibility.
  • Former State Senator Pat Kreitlow – Kreitlow was Duffy’s 2012 Democratic challenger, and, prior to that, a one-term state senator from the 23rd State Senate District.
  • Former Assistant District Attorney Susan Sommer – Sommer, a native of Rhinelander, was the 2012 Democratic candidate in the 12th State Senate District, losing to Republican candidate Tom Tiffany. Here’s some information about who Sommer is.
  • Former Congressman Dave Obey – Obey represented much of Central and Northern Wisconsin in Congress for decades prior to retiring in 2010. Obey is now a lobbyist for Gephardt Government Affairs, so, even though Obey hasn’t publicly ruled out the idea of running for his old seat in Congress, I highly doubt that he’ll do so.
  • Political Activist Barbara With – Barbara With is the person who I’d like to see run against Duffy. With, a resident of Madeline Island, is one of Wisconsin’s most passionate progressive activists. She’s more than willing to say what she thinks about the far-right Republicans who run Wisconsin these days, as you can see here and here.

PPP did not poll Reid Ribble, Paul Ryan, Tom Petri, and Jim Sensenbrenner, the other four Republicans in Wisconsin’s U.S. House delegation. Ribble and Ryan represent Republican-leaning, but competitive, districts, Petri is an entrenched Republican who represents a heavily-Republican district (if Petri retires, someone like Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels or Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris could win the 6th Congressional District for the Democrats, although Republicans would have to nominate a badly flawed candidate in order for a Democrat to win), and Sensenbrenner, although he’s the only member of the Wisconsin delegation who signed the Mark Meadows letter which called for Republicans to force a shutdown of the federal government if they couldn’t repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act, represents an overwhelmingly-Republican congressional district.

Even though Sean Duffy didn’t sign the Meadows letter which called for the federal government shutdown, Duffy has supported the Republican hostage politics that led to the shutdown. Democrats must mount a strong challenge to Sean Duffy, as well as all of the other Republican extremists who support political hostage-taking.

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About Aaron Camp

Blogger who mostly writes about Illinois and Wisconsin politics. Atheist. Democrat. Progressive. Resident of Westville, Illinois. Sole blogger of The Progressive Midwesterner.

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