MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Derrick Van Orden announced Thursday that he’s trying again to beat longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind in a district that former President Donald Trump carried twice.
Van Orden, a retired Navy Seal, narrowly lost to Kind in November in his first race for office. Kind won with 51% of the vote compared with nearly 49% for Van Orden.
Trump carried the western Wisconsin district by less than 4 points in both 2016 and 2020, making it a prime target for Republicans to flip. Former President Barack Obama won the district by 11 points in 2012.
Van Orden, an ardent supporter of Trump, has kept a high profile since the defeat, traveling to Washington, D.C., on the day of the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. Van Orden insisted that he was there to peacefully protest, was not part of the group that entered the Capitol, and he condemned the violence.
Kind is serving is 13th term in Congress representing Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District. He was first elected in 1996.
“Right now, Wisconsinites need us to come together, defeat this virus, and get our economy fully functioning again—that’s exactly what I’m working to do,” Kind said in a statement. “The last thing anyone wants or needs is 18 months of lying, partisan politics, and bickering.”