Myron Buccholz

Myron Buccholz

A retired high school history teacher is mounting a Democratic primary challenge against Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind.

Myron Buchholz of Eau Claire says he’s worried about growing poverty rates in the Third Congressional District and statewide, which are highlighted in the number of children who now qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches. Buchholz says he’s watched as rates in the district where he started teaching in 1997 grew from about seven percent to nearly 30 percent by the time he retired in 2015. He says the issue is growing worse state wide, where Wisconsin is “approaching 50 percent of our public school population statewide not being able to pay full price for an already subsidized lunch.”

Buchholz puts much of the blame for that on U.S. trade agreements, which he argues have failed to deliver on their promised economic benefits for working Americans. “The prosperity that we were promised from trade agreements is simply not being realized by the poor and the working class,” he argues.

Buchholz sees defeating the Trans Pacific Partnership, which Kind has signaled support for, as a primary focus of his campaign. “Everybody I talk to, and everybody that I talk to, and every group that I belong to…makes a very clear and convincing argument that this is worse than NAFTA,” he says.

Kind’s campaign did not respond to a message seeking comment on Buchholz’s primary challenge.

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