U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, whom Republicans tabbed as a top target in 2022 after his narrow reelection last fall, won’t seek another term, according to multiple Dem sources.
Kind, D-La Crosse, is expected to make the announcement later this afternoon.
Kind, who has spent the past 24 years representing western Wisconsin’s 3rd CD, beat Republican Derrick Van Orden by 2.7 percentage points last fall, his smallest margin of victory since winning the western Wisconsin seat in 1996.
Republicans had already tagged him as a top target in ’22, and Van Orden has announced plans to run for the seat again. Since then, Republicans have hammered Kind for owning a building in La Crosse that rented space to a massage parlor.
Van Orden, who has faced criticism for attending the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., that preceded the violent storming of the Capitol, outraised Kind in the second quarter of 2021. He pulled in $753,996 over the three-month period, while Kind raised $408,504.
The La Crosse Dem still had $1.4 million in the bank to end the period, more than twice what Van Orden had in the bank.
The western Wisconsin seat has been trending away from Dems in the last two presidential cycles. Former President Trump won the seat by 4.7 percentage points in 2020, an improvement over his 2016 performance. Still, the district could be dramatically revamped in the upcoming round of redistricting.
The National Republican Congressional Committee immediately knocked Kind and what his pending retirement means for Dem chances of holding the House in 2022.
“Ron Kind chose to retire rather than defend Democrats’ record of rising prices, rising crime, and skyrocketing illegal immigration. Kind’s retirement is the clearest sign yet that Democrats’ House majority is toast,” said NRCC spokesman Mike Berg.