A former state senator from Chippewa Falls has announced a run for Congress. Democrat Pat Kreitlow, who recently served a term in the state Senate, announced he’ll challenge Republican Representative Sean Duffy for the 7th district congressional seat, up for election in 2012. Kreitlow said despite the wave that swept he and other Democrats out of office last fall, he thinks voters feel Republicans are not keeping their promise to focus on job creation. “I went from exploring the options to making the decision after some of these recent votes that Shawn Duffy and Republicans have made in Washington, that are nothing like the promises they made to voters last year,” said Kreitlow.
Kreitlow said he was considering going back to work in media, or possibly for a think tank or political organization, until Wisconsin’s political battles heated up. “A lot of that searching for options was put on hold, when Governor Walker threw this grenade into the middle class the way that he did in mid-February,” explained Kreitlow. “It really got a lot of us back to thinking just about politics, and how we stop this onslaught against working families.” Duffy was elected last November to replace longtime democratic congressman Dave Obey, who retired. Kreitlow was defeated in the 2010 state senate election by Republican Terry Moulton. “Voters in Wisconsin have already rejected liberal Pat Kreitlow’s tax-and-spend agenda that forced Wisconsin businesses and jobs to leave the state. Wisconsin’s working families couldn’t afford to have Kreitlow in Madison and they certainly can’t afford to send him to Washington,” said a statement from Andrea Bozek, spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Both Kreitlow and Duffy are known to TV viewers, Kreitlow as an Eau Claire news anchor – Duffy as a participant on MTV’s “The Real World.” Kreitlow says both of them have some comfort in public speaking, but that’s where the similarity ends. “Whereas I’ve spent a lifetime covering stories of real people who are affected by the decisions that government made, I’d be running against somebody who is part of reality TV, and whose celebrity status has made him immune to the reality of what it’s like to get by on a congressional salary of $174,000 a year,” said Kreitow.