Former CIA Officer Enters 3rd Congressional District Primary
Deb McGrath, daughter of former Rep. Al Baldus, running as a Democrat.
Deb McGrath, daughter of former Rep. Al Baldus (D-Menomonie), announced on Tuesday that she’s entering the Democratic primary in Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, where a seat has been left open by Rep. Ron Kind’s announcement that he plans to retire.
McGrath grew up in Western Wisconsin before serving for 25 years in the Army, U.S. State Department and the CIA.
McGrath tells the Wisconsin Examiner that her long experience in public service will help her understand the levers of government and how to push them.
“I love our country and I love Wisconsin,” McGrath says. “I was born and raised here, I learned the values of faith, family and community. That instilled in me a passion for service. After 25 years of service for the Army, State Department, and CIA. That experience and ability to listen will be a catalyst to make change in Washington.”
“I understand what the levers of government are and I can push on those,” she adds.
The winner of the Democratic primary is likely to face off against Van Orden in the general election. A former Navy SEAL, Van Orden is a hardline conservative who used campaign money to attend the rally in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 that led to an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Though Van Orden has denied it, a report from the Daily Beast found that he entered Capitol grounds during the riot.
McGrath says the values she learned in the military and as a government employee are different from those espoused by Van Orden.
If elected, McGrath says she’ll focus on improving health care, education and infrastructure in the Western Wisconsin district. She says that rural areas of the district are lacking in access to healthcare and broadband internet needs to be expanded.
“Wisconsin issues are national issues,” she says, adding that she understands the struggles of Wisconsin families to get adequate health care coverage. She relates the story of her brother who died of cancer at the age of 6. “He could receive treatments because we had health insurance. Other families didn’t have the access, they had to make decisions about their farms versus the treatments,” she says. “Access to affordable health care in rural areas is going to be a real challenge and I’m going to take that on. Education is so important and our kids need our best. Then infrastructure, that’s how we affect every single family and business in rural Wisconsin.”
“When I look at those three things I think we can really move those forward,” she adds. “I think it will make Wisconsin stronger but I think America will be stronger.”
“Isn’t democracy great?” she says. “What I love about this is when there are many people looking at who is going to be best to serve us in Washington and I think it’s fantastic we can give voters a choice. I’ve already served and have 25 years of experience working to solve these issues nationally.”
The primary election for Wisconsin congressional offices is set to be held on Aug. 9 2022.
Deb McGrath, daughter of former congressman enters primary in 3rd Congressional District was originally published by the Wisconsin Examiner.