Republican John Garske, who spent 20 years in the Army and now runs a business helping vets transition to finding jobs in the private sector, is announcing today he will challenge Dem U.S. Rep. Ron Kind.

In a phone interview ahead of his formal announcements, Garske said he was inspired to run by “this impeachment fiasco and sham” as well as career politicians who have impeded progress in Congress.

As an example of the latter, Garske cited the time it took to pass the USMCA. Kind, D-La Crosse, supported the bill on final passage last year after Dems made several changes.

Kind, D-La Crosse, was unopposed for reelection in 2016 and won the 3rd CD in 2018 with 59.7 percent of the vote. Republicans have been targeting him, in part, because President Trump won western Wisconsin’s 3rd CD by more than 4 points four years ago.

Kind voted for the articles of impeachment against Trump in the House.

“The ridiculous, nonsense, never-ending investigation against our properly, duly elected president, it’s just too much,” Garske said.

Garske said he found it unacceptable in the fall that Republicans were still looking for someone to challenge Kind. Two Republicans have filed for the 3rd CD including Kevin Ruscher, who bills himself on his Facebook page as “an anti-Trump Republican” who has “never liked the guy.” The other is Brandon Cook, of Hager City. He wrote on his Facebook page he’s running “as a common sense Conservative Republican.”

Other Republicans have been considering a bid.

Garske, 55, grew up in Minnesota and served 20 years in the Army, including a stint as a chief helicopter pilot. His parents are from Wisconsin originally, and he returned to the state before formally retiring from the Army in 2002. He has never run for public office before.

He had formal announcements planned today in La Crosse and Eau Claire.

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