Democratic incumbent Rep. Ron Kind has officially secured a 13th term in the Wisconsin 3rd Congressional District, after a tight back-and-forth against one of his toughest challenges yet.
The race was officially called later Wednesday morning, just a few hours after Kind declared victory over Republican opponent Derrick Van Orden on social media, though a handful of precincts had not yet reported.
“I know firsthand the challenges working families in Wisconsin face, and I am committed to fighting for the farmers, veterans, families, businesses, workers who move our state forward,” Kind said in a Tweet, thanking voters for sending him back to Washington.
Van Orden was Kind’s toughest challenge yet in his 23 years in-office, securing re-election with just 51% of the vote after trailing in early tally reports Tuesday night until he began to receive more momentum.
In 2018, the last time Kind faced an opponent, he won with nearly 60% of the vote and nearly 61,000 votes, making this race a much closer margin than previous challenges. He turned out more than 11,000 new votes this election.
In a press call about an hour after polls closed in Wisconsin, while neck-and-neck in early reports, Kind told reporters that he was hopeful.
“Every two years you face a job review. 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.
The race for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District has had many eyes on it, as Kind, who is wrapping up his 12th term in the House, is facing one of his toughest challenges yet.
Van Orden, a former Navy SEAL, actor and author, said he launched his campaign after Kind voted to impeach President Donald Trump. The candidate closely aligns with much of the president’s platform and is ran on a message to bring a fresh face to the district.
Kind was first elected to the House in 1996, and as a La Crosse native, spent much of the campaign leaning on his long standing relationship with the district. He currently serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Here are the unofficial final tallies. All results are considered preliminary until officially canvassed:
Ron Kind, D-La Crosse (i) — 199,083 votes
Derrick Van Orden, R-Hager City — 187,548 votes
This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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