State Sen. Brad Pfaff, of Onalaska, won the Dem primary for the 3rd CD seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse.

Pfaff, who is endorsed by Kind, will face Republican Derrick Van Orden in the November general election.

The Trump-endorsed Van Orden ran unopposed in today’s GOP primary for what some national pundits have tabbed as the House seat most likely to flip party control this fall.

“Derrick presents a clear and present danger to democracy and has proven time and time again that he lacks the temperament, character, or the judgment to be in Congress,” Pfaff said in a statement. “Whether it was participating in the Capitol insurrection on January 6th, being placed on probation for taking a loaded gun into an airport, bragging about sexually harassing two female officers or berating a teenaged librarian aide because of a Gay Pride book display, Derrick is quite simply unfit to serve in Congress.”

Van Orden, meanwhile, ripped Dem leadership in Washington, D.C., and said Pfaff “enthusiastically supports President Biden and Pelosi’s radical policies and spending that are destroying America in real time.”

“Wisconsinites have had enough,” Van Orden said. “They want new leadership, someone who is not a career politician and will be a strong leader in these hard times.”

With more than 70 percent of the vote in, Pfaff was at 42.3 percent. That gave him a more than 5,700-vote lead on Eau Claire businesswoman Rebecca Cooke, who was at 29.8 percent. Former CIA officer and Army Capt. Deb McGrath was in third at 18 percent, while La Crosse Ald. Mark Neumann was at 9.9 percent.

Along with Kind’s endorsement, Pfaff has had a financial edge in the primary.

Since launching his campaign, Pfaff had raised $722,499 ahead of the primary election and spent $542,509.

McGrath came close behind at $638,738. She spent $471,611 on her bid and contributed $24,614 to her own campaign.

Cooked raised $431,600 over the course of her campaign and spent $368,177.

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