Long before Obey decided to call it quits, Duffy was running hard to win. This father of six, District Attorney and national lumberjack sports champion proved that he wasn’t a candidate to be taken lightly. Duffy’s message of fiscal responsibility struck a chord with voters, who grew tired of being represented by the architect of the Obama stimulus package. It wasn’t long before the Wall Street Journal and New York Times began to take notice of what was happening in Wisconsin’s northwoods. By April, Duffy had raised over half-a-million dollars, making him the most well-funded Republican ever to challenge Obey. Sensing a real opportunity to take out one the biggest Obama-Pelosi allies, the NRCC launched a TV ad in early April that highlighted Obey’s role in creating booming deficits.
Now that Obey has bowed out of the race, it looks as if Duffy will face state Senator Julie Lassa, the Democrat establishment’s recently handpicked nominee and the one tasked with continuing Obey’s failed economic legacy. Lassa has indicated that she will try to run on a platform of job creation, but she cannot run away from the fact that Wisconsin has lost 175,000 jobs under her watch as chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee.
Stretching from Stevens Point in the South to Lake Superior in the North and covering all or parts of 20 counties, the 7th Congressional District, while Democratic, is culturally conservative. Except for the performance of then-candidate Barack Obama, who won this district with 56% of the vote, the results were much more closely divided in the 2000 and 2004 elections. With a top tier candidate like Sean Duffy, and the NRCC’s commitment to taking this seat in November, Republicans will have to momentum to do what has long eluded us: turn this district red.
The voters of WI-07 Congressional District deserve to be unshackled from the continuous loss of jobs and state budget deficits, and most importantly, they deserve to be unshackled from more than 40 years of David Obey and his friends in the Democratic Party. In 2010 they have an excellent opportunity to take a step toward freedom by electing Sean Duffy to Congress.