Democrats are high on Jamie Wall, a strong recruit who will announce later on Wednesday that he will challenge freshman Rep. Reid Ribble (R) in a Republican-leaning northern Wisconsin district.
"I'm running for Congress because I love northeast Wisconsin, and we deserve better than we’re getting from Washington," Wall will say in a release due out later on Wednesday. "Real people are suffering in this economy, and our politicians are squabbling with each other instead of working together to do what’s right for the people who elected them."
Wall, a Green Bay businessman and longtime Democratic activist, is the son of dairy farmers and grew up in the area. Even after Republicans made the district a bit more conservative in redistricting, it still would have backed President Obama narrowly in 2008, and Democrats showed they could win the seat with the right type of candidate when Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Wis.) held it from 2006 to 2010.
This is the second time Wall has run for Congress: He lost to Kagen in a 2006 primary.
Republicans wasted no time slamming his candidacy. "Wisconsin middle-class families rejected Jamie Wall once because of his unwavering support for government-run healthcare and job-destroying tax increases and they will do it again," said National Republican Congressional Committee Spokesperson Andrea Bozek. "There is no question that Wall would be a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi’s big government and spending agenda that has devastated Wisconsin's economy."
Democrats have been critical of Ribble for moving out of the district after his election, and he took some heat in the local press for failing to vote in the closely watched state Senate recall elections that was a proxy battle over union rights.
This post was updated at 10:46 a.m. to include Bozek's statement.