Possible Democratic Challenger to Walker
Posted: June 7, 2013
U.S. Representative Ron Kind (Dem.,Wis.) did an interview with the editorial staff of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week where he said that Governor Scott Walker should do more to create jobs by taking advantage of the state's university system and Wisconsin's health care industry.
While I agree with that statement, my first thought was that Kind was throwing his hat in the ring to start a gubernatorial run against Walker in 2014. Although Kind's name has come up as a possible Democratic challenger to Walker, Kind said he was only focused on his work in the House, where he represents the 3rd Congressional District.
Frankly, I think Ron Kind is probably the only viable candidate that the Democratic party can put up against Walker. Even though our current governor has done admirable work getting the state's finances in order, I am not a big fan of how he goes about doing business. In a nutshell, I think Walker is haughty.
Walker won comfortably in the recall election last year, but the Democrats really didn't present a solid option in Kathleen Falk. She was the Dane County Executive who was not very well known outside of the Madison area. But Kind could give Walker a run for his money if he decided to set his sights on the state's highest office.
In his interview last week, Kind also took shots at Walker for not accepting the federal Medicaid dollars through the Affordable Care Act, which he said would cost the state $73.5 million more than previously estimated.
While Walker continues to test the waters of a run at the White House, Kind could very easily challenge the incumbent while his opponent gets sidetracked by the lure of Republican fundraising events and the national spotlight that he is attracting.
The only downside to Kind running for governor is that his voice on behalf of the 3rd Congressional District would be lost. Even though Kind is on the other side of the aisle from his predecessor, Congressman Steve Gunderson, he has represented our area well and would be missed on Capitol Hill.
One of my Eau Claire friends told me of a time 30 years ago when he was participating in the Wisconsin Shrine Football Game and Kind announced to a group of teenagers that he would be president some day. The governor's mansion doesn't have the allure of the White House, but it's a start in that direction.