3rd district: Kind vs. Van Orden

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 5:25 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Following Tuesday’s election, the match-up for the 3rd congressional district is set.

“We focused on winning this primary and we did,” says Republican candidate Derrick Van Orden.

Van Orden, fresh off a primary win, is set to take on long time Democratic incumbent Ron Kind in November.

“We are expanding our team to make sure we have the broadest base, grass roots approach for taking Ron Kind out of office,” Van Orden says.

After more than two decades in office, WEAU Political Analyst John Frank says Ron Kind has the upper hand.

“With Ron Kind having been in office for 24 years and having a couple million dollars in his campaign account, he obviously has an advantage,” he says.

“I was born and raised here in Western Wisconsin,” Kind says. “I believe I know this district very well, the challenges and the opportunities that we face here at home.”

Even though Van Orden has not lived in the 3rd district very long, he already has plans if he wins in November.

“We’re going to leverage every single thing we possibly can from the federal level to help out the most amount of people in our district according to their individual needs, that’s what we need to do in Washington,” Van Orden says.

Kind says he also has some ideas to improve the state.

“Rebuilding literally means major infrastructure investments so we can start rebuilding Wisconsin the way it should be,” he says. “That also means closing that digital divide which this virus has highlighted.”

Frank says this election is not like any other, having to campaign amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The third congressional district is difficult to campaign to start with and the reason for that is you have 750.000 people spread over 17 counties,” he says. “You’re going to have to do more of a virtual campaign, you’re going to have to do more online campaigning events.”

In the end, Frank says it will come down to independent voters.

“The third congressional district is one of the few remaining purple districts, it is a truly purple district, so it is going to be won by the person who is going to grab the people in the middle and move them over to their side either Democrat or Republican.”

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