U.S. Rep. Ron Kind

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, declared victory this morning after a closer-than-expected race with former Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden.

With 99.34 percent of the vote tallied, Kind led Van Orden by 11,448 votes.

Dem sources told WisPolitics.com ahead of Kind’s declaration only two jurisdictions still have outstanding votes: the Town of Union in Pierce County and Town of Willow in Richland County. Combined, those two towns had 674 combined registered voters as of Sunday.

If Kind’s lead holds, all seven of Wisconsin’s House incumbents will have won re-election, though the 3rd CD was the only race that was considered competitive going into the fall. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, easily won the open 5th CD.

If Kind’s 2.96 point margin holds, it will be his closest margin of victory since winning the seat in 1996. 

Van Orden outraised Kind in back-to-back fundraising periods this year. He also got a boost from the Congressional Leadership Fund, which backs GOP House candidates. But Kind’s warchest hit $3.1 million in 2020, and he used that to dramatically outspend Van Orden down the stretch.

Over the final five weeks, Kind and his backers spent $2.3 million on broadcast TV, cable, radio and digital, according to Advertising Analytics. Meanwhile, Van Orden and the groups backing him spent nearly $1.3 million.

Kind became an instant target after President Trump won his district by 4.5 percentage points in 2016 as the La Crosse Dem was unopposed. Two years later, Kind won reelection with nearly 60 percent of the vote.

His previous closest winning margin was nearly 3.8 percentage points in 2010.

In other House races:

*U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, won a fifth term in the House by defeating Republican challenger Peter Theron by a margin of 69.8 percent to 20.2 percent with 99 percent of the vote in.

*U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, also cruised to reelection by 32.5 points over Republican challenger Tim Rogers. With 99 percent of the vote in, Moore leads Rogers by 64.7 percent to 32.15 percent. Her race was the first to be called by the AP and she will return to Washington for a ninth term in Congress.

*Fitzgerald is set to succeed U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, after defeating Dem challenger Tom Palzewicz. With 93 percent of the vote in, the Juneau Republican leads his rival by 25.5 point margin.

*U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, will return to Washington for a fourth term in the House after defeating Dem challenging Jessica King. With 93 percent of the vote in, Grothman leads 59.9 percent to 40.1 percent.

*In a rematch of a May special election, U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, again defeated Dem challenger Tricia Zunker. Tiffany leads Zunker by a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent with 97.75 percent of the vote in.

*U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, defeated state Rep. Amanda Stuck, D-Appleton, to win a third term in office. With 87.38 percent of the vote in, Gallagher leads Stuck by 65.28 percent to 34.72 percent.

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