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‘I’ve run out of gas:’ Ron Kind announces retirement from Congress

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 2:50 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - Democratic Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin has announced he will not seek re-election to the House of Representatives.

Speaking at Roosevelt Elementary School in La Crosse, Wis., the 58-year-old Kind told those assembled that years of serving a district covering 19 counties had taken its toll.

“The truth is, I’ve run out of gas,” Kind, who represents Wisconsin’s 3rd representative district, said.

Kind said that he was proud of his record in Congress, where he has served since 1997 after being elected in 1996.

“I’ve been proud to be one of the most bipartisan members of Congress,” Kind said, acknowledging that extreme partisanship made him a ‘relic’ in Congress.

Kind touted his achievements while in Congress, including expanding access to healthcare and his work on conservation, while also thanking his family, staff, and communities across Wisconsin for supporting him during his political career.

Republican Derrick Van Orden, who lost to Kind in the 2020 election, is running for the seat in 2022. In a release, Van Orden thanked Kind for his years of service in Congress, but highlighted that he believes that the people in the district are ready for a change in representation.

“I would like to thank Rep. Kind for serving in Washington for the last 24 years, and I wish him the best in his retirement.

“Today’s announcement is indicative of what I hear every day as I travel the 3rd District: Wisconsinites want a change.

“Our campaign has shown that the people of the 3rd are ready for a proven, tested Leader in Washington who will stand up to Nancy Pelosi’s radical agenda, and ensure that our children and grandchildren will live in a safe and prosperous nation.

“I will continue to work tirelessly to earn every vote, and am standing ready to represent the incredible people of Western Wisconsin.”

Derrick Van Orden

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said that Kind provided “tremendous leadership” and wished Kind and his family well.

“For more than two decades western Wisconsin has been able to count on Ron Kind. Thanks to his tremendous leadership, countless small businesses, farmers, and families have a brighter future ahead of them. While his voice in Congress is going to be sorely missed, his legacy as a pragmatic and selfless leader will continue to move Wisconsin forward. I wish Ron, Tawni, and their entire family well on their next chapter and I’m confident they’ll continue to play an important role in the direction of our state.”

Gov. Tony Evers

Kind says he will remain in La Crosse and continue to work in the community.

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