Rep. Ron Kind’s Political Career Gives Up the Ghost

Dr. Munr Kazmir
5 min readAug 11, 2021

Does this spell disaster for the Democratic Party in 2022?

Congressman Ron Kind addresses the crowd at the grand opening ceremony while U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Regional Director, Tom Melius, looks on. Photo by Ketti Spomer/USFWS.

“The truth is I’ve run out of gas,” Rep. Ron Kind announced to reporters and stunned Democrats on Tuesday. “This will be my last term in office. I will not seek reelection.”

The Democratic Party moved quickly to spin the news, though it leaves the razor-thin Democratic Congressional majority even further imperiled in 2022, with Democrats in danger of losing a seat Republicans didn’t even bother to run against Kind for in 2016.

“I know he’s one of the districts that the Republican Party is coming after because they know Donald Trump won in that district,” said Jan Way of the Portage County Democratic Party. “I think they see it as an easy win and I hope they’re very wrong.”

Republicans were less circumspect.

“Congressman Ron Kind made the right decision to drift off into the sunset rather than face certain defeat next fall,” said Calvin Moore, CLF Communications Director. “CLF’s investment in 2020 made this an imminently winnable seat for Republicans and we look forward to ensuring this seat flips Republican in 2022.”

There are seven Democratic Party Congressional Representatives from districts Trump won in 2020. Rep. Cheri Bustos, from Illinois is another. She announced in April that she too will not be seeking reelection.

In Atlanta, a similarly unusual saga is unfolding. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, elected only last cycle, announced recently that she will not be seeking reelection either.

None of these refusals to seek reelection have mentioned bad polling, or concerns about winning. In fact, quite the opposite. Family obligations, religious reasons, health concerns- all have been floated while any claims to the contrary have been hotly refuted.

Rep. Ron Kind, still in the prime of his professional life, may indeed just be “out of gas”. What he isn’t out of, however, is campaign funds.

He started the most recent quarter with a war chest of $1.3 million. His closest Republican challenger, a former-Navy Seal who came within 3 points of beating Kind in 2020, doesn’t even have half that.