Former State Sen. Pat Kreitlow (D-Chippewa Falls) has formed an exploratory committee for a possible run for the 7th District U.S. Congress seat currently held by Sean Duffy (R-Ashland).

Kreitlow announced the plans Saturday night at the Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, held at the Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls.

The announcement was not an official declaration of candidacy. Kreitlow said after the banquet that the formation of a committee allows him to get the process started while keeping his options open.

“An exploratory committee means we can raise funds and hire staff, to see if this is a fight the middle class can win next year,” he said.

Kreitlow, who gained name recognition by being a news anchor on WEAU-TV for several years, was elected to the state Senate in 2006 after defeating long-time Republican incumbent Dave Zien.

Kreitlow only served one term in the Senate, however. He was defeated in last November’s election by former State Rep. Terry Moulton.

Kreitlow has not been far from politics since losing that election, though. He has appeared as a speaker at a number of Democratic Party events.

In making his announcement, Kreitlow said that when he ran against Zien, he made a similar announcement 13 months before the election. This announcement was 19 months ahead of the November 2012 election.

In remarks to the Democrats present, Kreitlow criticized Duffy for his recent comment about having trouble making ends meet on a $174,000 Congressional salary, for calling for the repeal of the federal health care law, and for working to water down recent Wall Street reforms.

Kreitlow had also appeared at the Eau Claire County Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner the night before, but made no such announcement. He said he had not decided on the move until Saturday, and was waiting to see if the Democrats, now in the minority in the U.S. House of Representatives, would “roll over” to the Republican demands on budget measures. However, he was encouraged by the party standing its ground and forcing a compromise.

Kreitlow said there has already been widespread disappointment in the Republicans on both the state and national level.

“They said they were going to fight for jobs, but they fight against the middle class,” he said.

Kreitlow’s interest in running for Congress throws into question any possible candidacy for his old seat in the state Senate should Democrats attempt a recall drive against Moulton. In response to recent legislation, Democrats have targeted all Republican senators currently eligible for recall. A recall drive against Moulton cannot be started until November.

Kreitlow’s interest in running against Duffy also presupposes he will be eligible for the position. Because of the 2010 Census, all Congressional district boundaries are being re-drawn.

Chippewa Falls is on the southern end of the 7th Congressional District, while Eau Claire is in the 3rd District currently represented by Democrat Ron Kind. Kreitlow could find himself living in Kind’s district, especially if Republicans, who control redistricting due to their majority status in the Legislature, see him as a threat.

(14) comments

Chuckie
Chuckie

We could use a few more honest men/women in congress.

matty
matty

[quote]Chuckie said: "We could use a few more honest men/women in congress. "[/quote] Yep, honest..................and useless.

reader
reader

The democratic party must be hard up

lake2
lake2

Kreitlow voted for the largest tax, fee, and debt increases in Wisconsin history. Now he wants us to send him to Washington to fix Congress. He has no credibility, but he would be good at reading a teleprompter.

dhuntr
dhuntr

Same old class warfare rhetoric that caused the democrats downward spiral. I'm guessing the first people he runs to for money are the Lexus liberals.

Rainmaker
Rainmaker

Duffy just can't make it on $174,000/yr plus full lifetime of benefits. Poor guy should just move on I guess.

Bob
Bob

Rainmaker beat me to the 'punch' I guess Duffy just can't make it on $174,000 a year, poor guy. You see how Republicians are just so out of touch with the average voter but yet idiots still vote for them.

Will Opine
Will Opine

"especially if Republicans, who control redistricting due to their majority status in the Legislature, see him as a threat."
Redistricting is done according to population shifts.The party in the majority doesn't have absolute control to remove a political threat.
So,Mr. Gunderman,do you have anything to support Republicans would redistrict because of a "treat" or is this an opinion disguised in a news article?

Keepin it Real
Keepin it Real

Most of our State's issues came from Doyle, Kreitlow and Jeff Wood. If they think we'd vote them back into office they Still Don't Get IT...... Even Though most are disliking some of Walker's decisions again remember why some of them need to be done and that would be Prior Administration if you think Not then Get Real..............

dans
dans

[quote]Rainmaker said: "Duffy just can't make it..."[/quote]

Way to misrepresent what he said. He said he "struggles" to pay all his bills/debts, considering he has a lower level of compensation now than when he was the DA. Then, he said "Let's all join hands together and say 'I'll take a pay decrease, absolutely.'" speaking of public employees.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/gop-rep-im-struggling-on-my-174k-salary-video.php

whodidit
whodidit

If Duffy made over $174K as a DA then something 'smells' somewhere.

I raised a family on a lot less than $174K and didn't have trouble making it......poor little rich kid.

WillieWonka
WillieWonka

Ya, well, considering Mr Kreitlow lives in the far south of the district and there is redistricting yet to be done it would not surprise me to see his home address magically fall outside of the 7th district by the time all is said and done.

Ashley
Ashley

Does Pat Kreitlow think he's middle class? His wife likely makes $250K+ as an OBGYN. I wonder if his family could make it on $174K per year? He might have to give up the lake home and the convertible!

Wondering Alooud
Wondering Alooud

I much prefer Duffy but I doubt he can hold the seat unless something changes dramatically.

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