Democratic Wisconsin congressman Ron Kind announced his retirement on Tuesday, dealing a blow to Democrats’ hopes of keeping control of the House in 2022.
Kind has represented western Wisconsin’s third congressional district since 1997, but voters in the district backed Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020. In 2016, Kind ran unopposed, and in 2018 he cruised to reelection by 19 points.
But in 2020, Kind narrowly defeated former Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden, a first-time candidate, 51.3 percent to 48.6 percent. Van Orden is seeking the seat again in 2022, and Kind was high on the GOP’s target list.
Although the incumbent ran ahead of other Democrats on the ticket for many years, that trend may not have continued if Kind had sought another term in 2022. The retiring Democratic congressman has recently come under fire for renting out a massage parlor to a woman who “lost her occupational license in another state after local police linked her to human trafficking and prostitution,” the Washington Free Beacon reported last month.
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