Wisconsin Public Radio

Fitzgerald Wins Big, Kind By 3% for Congress

All incumbents for Congress in state reelected, Fitzgerald replaces Sensenbrenner.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Nov 4th, 2020 10:13 am
Scott Fitzgerald. Emily Hamer/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Scott Fitzgerald. Emily Hamer/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

The races to determine Wisconsin’s congressional delegation saw voters sending many of the incumbents back to Washington, although the highly contested 3rd Congressional District is still too close to call.

Despite continued support for President Donald Trump in western Wisconsin, Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, of La Crosse, has held on to a slim lead in the 3rd Congressional District race — although no winner has been identified by the Associated Press. Kind claimed victory in early morning posts on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Kind is narrowly leading in the contest with Republican challenger Derrick Van Orden, of Hager City, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL who was endorsed by Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Kind is vying for his 13th term.

After the 3rd District turned out in favor of Trump in 2016, this year’s congressional race was considered highly competitive by both political analysts and national fundraising groups, which poured money into advertising in the district. The district includes La Crosse and Eau Claire, and covers much of western Wisconsin.

Van Orden painted the race as a choice between a political outsider, likening himself to Trump, and a “liberal elitist” like Kind. Kind ran on his record as a moderate and his promise to work with his Republican colleagues.

According to unofficial results from the Associated Press at 8:44 a.m. Wednesday, Kind has a 51.45 percent lead while Van Orden has 48.55 percent.

On Tuesday night, Kind said he was “cautiously optimistic” about winning reelection, saying voters in the district are still looking for someone who can reach across the aisle.

“I always felt that every two years, you face a job review. And I think I’ve done a nice job for folks back home, being very accessible to them, being responsive to the challenges that we have here, being that independent voice that they demand in Washington. And therefore, I think the election will speak for itself based on the work that I’ve done,” Kind said.

Fitzgerald Heading To Congress With 5th District Win

State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, has won his bid for the state’s 5th Congressional District. The win keeps the southeast Wisconsin district in Republican control after U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner chose not to seek reelection. Fitzgerald beat out Democrat Tom Palzewicz, of Brookfield.

The seat covers much of Milwaukee’s western suburbs and portions of Jefferson, Washington, Dodge, Milwaukee, Walworth and Waukesha counties.

After Tuesday night’s win, Fitzgerald said in a statement he was proud of the “positive, aggressive campaign” he ran despite this year’s “unprecedented challenges.”

“The events of recent months have further cemented the idea that we need experienced, proven conservative leaders in Congress to fight for Wisconsin values and protect our democracy,” Fitzgerald said in the statement. “I’m excited to bring my years of experience championing conservative reforms to our nation’s capital, where my first priority will be safely reopening the economy so that Wisconsin residents and businesses can get back to work.”

The Associated Press called the race around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, with Fitzgerald earning 65.51 percent of the vote with nearly 75 percent of precincts reporting.

Kind Holds Lead In 3rd Congressional District Race, Fitzgerald To Replace Sensenbrenner was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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