Former Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden leads the financial contest in the race to replace retiring U.S. Representative Ron Kind (D-WI-03) in Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, outpacing the nearest competitor by over a million dollars.
According to FEC records, Van Orden has raised $2,654,181.52 and has $1,427,840.31 cash on hand in the bank as of the December 31, 2021 deadline. Records also currently show that no other Republicans have filed paperwork with the FEC. Van Orden has been endorsed by President Donald Trump, Wisconsin’s 3rd-district Republican Party, and others.
In a statement, President Trump said of Van Orden:
Derrick Van Orden is running for Congress in Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District. Derrick is a former Navy SEAL Senior Chief who bravely served and defended our Country. He strongly supports our Military, Veterans, Law Enforcement, and he will always fight for Secure Borders, the Second Amendment, and our incredible Farmers. Derrick has my Complete and Total Endorsement!
Van Orden is participating in the Nation Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program, where he has attained the level of Young Gun. According to his bio on the NRCC website, Orden “is an American patriot, retired Navy SEAL, husband, father, grandfather, and Christian. He met and married his wife, Sara Jane, over 27 years ago. Derrick’s journey of public service started when he joined the Navy at the age of 18. He had the honor to serve our great nation for 26 years. He retired as a Navy SEAL Senior Chief with 5 combat deployments and several others to troubled areas in the world. Derrick also became involved in acting during his military service when he starred in the motion picture Act of Valor.”
Van Orden’s nearest financial competition comes from State Representative Brad Pfaff (D- La Crosse) and Democrat Deb McGrath. Pfaff has raised $353,628.80 and has $286,802.12 on hand. McGrath, who worked for the CIA and State Department, and served in the U.S. Army, has raised $233,892.59 and has $217,471.74 cash on hand.
Democrat Congressional Committee spokesman Elena Kuhn had harsh words for Van Orden, saying “Derrick Van Orden is an insurrectionist, sexual harasser of female service members, and now a bully who will stoop as low as threatening the very people he’s seeking to represent. Van Orden doesn’t hold Wisconsin values and he has no business representing the Badger State.”
Redistricting barely changed the boundaries WI-3 and the partisan rating has not changed. Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight gives the district the same partisan rating it did prior to redistricting, which is R+9. The Cook Political Report gives the race a Lean Republican rating.
On March 3, the Wisconsin Supreme Court selected U.S. House maps drawn by Democrat Governor Tony Evers, picking that map over one drawn by the Republican legislature. The new maps are very similar to the old ones, as the court had previously ruled that, in selecting the maps, it would try to make as few changes as possible to the old lines. Evers had vetoed the Republican legislatures maps.
Outgoing Rep. Ron Kind announced his retirement in August of 2021.
The primary is scheduled to take place on August 9. The filing deadline is June 1.
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