Ron Kind faces an intraparty challenge as he seeks a 13th term in Congress.

Eau Claire software engineer Justin Bonner has announced his candidacy in the Democratic primary for the Third District Congressional seat that Kind has held since 1997.

Bonner, 24, has never held public office. He describes himself as a supporter of Vermont U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Bonner’s website says he’s running on an agenda that includes “Medicare for all, ranked-choice voting, free public education through college and beyond, workplace democracy, money out of politics, a green new deal, abolish ICE, abolish the NSA and to abolish the CIA.”

“I would rather lose telling the truth about what I believe rather than win by telling people what I think they want to hear,” he said in his website.

Kind’s campaign issued a statement in response to Bonner’s candidacy.

“The Congressman is focused on doing his job in Congress and working to lower health care costs for Wisconsinites, ending the president’s reckless trade war and keeping family dairy farms afloat,” the statement read.

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Kind was first elected to Congress in 1996. He easily swept aside a 2016 primary challenger who backed Sanders for president. Kind ran without Republican opposition in the 2016 general election even though Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump carried the district by five percentage points.

In 2018 Kind defeated Republican Steve Toft in the general election by a 59.7-40.3 percent margin.

The Cook Partisan Voter Index describes the district as “even,” or within one percentage point of the national average.

The district includes all of Monroe County except the towns of LaGrange, Lincoln, Scott and Byron and villages of Wyeville and Warrens.

The primary is Aug. 11, 2020, and the general election is Nov. 3, 2020.

Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at steve.rundio@lee.net.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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