Check out the website: Look at the recent Political Notes and Len’s Letters on the website.

 MIDWEST: Political Note # 398 David Palmer IL 13, Political Note #376 Lauren Underwood IL 14, Political Note #378 Elissa Slotkin MI 08, Political Note #357 Haley Stevens MI 11, Political Note #355 Angie Craig MN 02, Political Note #418 Brad Pfaff WI 03

SOUTHWEST: Political Note #389 Tom O’Halleran AZ 01, Political Note #375 Steven Horsford NV 04, Political Note #356 Susie Lee NV 03, Political Note #417 Abby Broyles OK 05, Political Note #377 Lizzie Fletcher TX 07, Political Note #362 Vicente Gonzalez TX 15, Political Note #399 Colin Allred TX 32

WEST: Political Note #383 Harley Rouda CA 48, Political Note #384 Peter DeFazio OR 04.

SOUTHEAST: Political Note #385 Carolyn Bordeaux GA 07, Political Note #410 Charles Evans NC 08, Political Note #416 Stewart Navarre VA 01, Political Note #388 Elaine Luria VA 02

NORTHEAST: Political Note #363 Tom Malinowski NJ 07, Political Note #394 Susan Wild PA 07, Political Note #397 Eugene DePasquale PA 10

SPECIAL ELECTIONS:  Political Note #393 Allison Russo OH 15 (Election is in November, 2021), Political Note #364 Jana Lynne Sanchez TX 06 (lost), Political Note #382 Melanie Stansbury NM 01 (won)

October 12th, 2021          Political Note #418 Brads Pfaff WI 03

2022                                General Election

Wisconsin Republican politicians don’t like Brad Pfaff much.  He knows how to defeat Republicans in close races.  In 2020, he won his state senate race by 582 votes.  (Not that he is the only one.  His Democratic predecessor won that same seat in 2016 by 56 votes).  He learned how to defeat Republicans by working for retiring Congressman Ron Kind.  For ten years, Brad Pfaff was Ron Kind’s aide for agriculture and rural development issues.  In 2009, he joined the Obama Administration as the Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency for Wisconsin.  For the last year of the Obama administration, he was the National Deputy Administrator of the Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency.  He rejoined Ron Kind as his chief of staff until December, 2018 when Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers named him Secretary of the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.

Brad Pfaff did not seem like a controversial appointment in 2018.  Republican attacked another nominee who was scheduled to head Transportation.  Why, they wondered, would the Democratic governor choose a transportation secretary who had attacked the previous Republican governor’s transportation policies.  Not nice, they claimed.  Policy differences would be the answer.

Brad Pfaff took office expecting little difficulty from Republicans.  A year after his nomination, Republicans got around to rejecting his nomination – effectively firing him.  Why?  They appeared to say they found him annoying.  Brad Pfaff had criticized the Wisconsin Senate, with 19 Republicans and 14 Democrats, for delaying a vote on a farmer suicide prevention program.  The Republicans may have found more troubling a proposed rule change to allow localities to set requirements for runoff management and odor standards for new farms and expanded farms with 500 or more animals.  Aware of the resistance generated by the proposal, Brad Pfaff has already announced withdrawal of the rule change.  But the Republicans were unrelenting.  They felt they had to fire an Agriculture Secretary who would even consider such a rule.  Brad Pfaff came out OK.  He was appointed Director of the Office of Business and Rural Development in the state Department of Administration – a post that did not require the Wisconsin Senate’s approval.  It paid well and responsibilities were added as a result of his appointment.  He stayed for six months, then ran and won election to the State Senate – taking a substantial cut in pay.

If Democrats are going to learn how to be attractive to rural voters, Brad Pfaff is a political leader who can show the way.  He was born and grew up on a dairy farm in the “cheese head” state.  When the Republicans fired him from his job, the Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling told GOP senators their action “chips away at the civility of this body.”

“Agriculture is in Brad’s DNA — it is who he is… agriculture shaped Brad’s life, it shaped Brad’s values … it taught him the core beliefs of growing up in a rural community, growing up on a family farm.”  Add his education focused on the environment.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, majoring in public administration and environmental administration.  His Master’s Degree is a product of having been in Washington.  It is a degree in Public Administration from George Mason.

Brad Pfaff is a great candidate to replace Ron Kind.  The district runs from the southwest corner of Wisconsin along the western border dipping inland far enough to include Stevens Point and includes what Wikipedia calls two significant urban centers – Eau Clair and La Crosse. The district is over 90% white and has a median family income of just under $60,000.  Trump carried the district in 2016 and 2020 – by about 4 ½ points each of those elections.  Before that Democrats were dominant.

We don’t know what the district will look like after redistricting.  It would have to become pretty Republican for Brad Pfaff not to have a chance.  Wisconsin places redistricting in the hands of the legislature, subject to a veto by the Governor.  Due to substantial gerrymandering, Republicans currently have large majorities, but not veto proof majorities, in both the Assembly and the Senate.  Governor Evers created, by executive order, an independent advisory commission to propose maps to the legislature.  We do not yet know what WI 03 or the other Wisconsin districts will look like.

Whatever Wisconsin’s districts do look like, Brad Pfaff will have a decent chance to win and retain the seat for Democrats.  Help him be in a strong position.  Help him have enough resources to compete. Donate to Brad Pfaff’s campaign.  Keep the Democratic majority in the House.


Democrats to flip Republican seats (I will keep adding to this list)

 California 48            Harley Rouda  Help him get his seat back from a far rightist supporter of Trump and Elder

Illinois 13                  David Palmer.  Help this financial planner and former basketball player and defeat a perpetually vulnerable Republican

Iowa 02                      Christina Bohanan Help this popular U of Iowa law school professor and state rep

North Carolina 08   Charles Evans  Help this formerly incarcerated guy who created a non-profit to help others like him

Ohio 15                        Allison Russo (Special election November, 2021.) Help his health care researcher win an open Republican seat.

Oklahoma 05           Abby Broyles  Help this young, former television celebrity and investigative reporter defeat a vulnerable Republican

Pennsylvania 10     Eugene DePasquale Help PA’s former Auditor General defeat a Republican accused of shady dealing

Virginia 01                Stewart Navarre Help this former Marine Colonel and medical exec defeat an extreme Republican in a district hinting at purple


Vulnerable incumbent Democrats and Dems with Open Democratic Seats.  These are Democratic Members of Congress who won with less than 52% of the vote or are otherwise vulnerable


Iowa 03           Cynthia Axne  Received 48.9% of the vote in 2020

Illinois 14        Lauren Underwood Received 50.67% of the vote in 2020

Kansas 03      Sharice Davids  A ten point victor, but facing redistricting for 2022

Michigan 08   Elissa Slotkin Received 50.88% of the vote in 2020

Michigan 11   Haley Stevens  Received 50.2% of the vote in 2020

Minnesota 02 Angie Craig Received 48.21% of the vote in 2020

Wisconsin 03 Brad Pfaff Candidate to replace retiring Ron Kind

Elsewhere in the US

Georgia 07    Carolyn Bordeaux  Received 51.39% of the vote in 2020

Nevada 03 Susie Lee Received 48.75% of the vote in 2020

Nevada 04 Steve Horsford Received 50.67% of the vote in 2020

New Jersey 07 Tom Malinowski Received 50.61% of the vote in 2020

New Mexico 01 Tom O’Halloran  Received 51.61% of the vote in 2020

Oregon 04     Peter DeFazio  Received 51.26% of the vote in 2020

Texas 07 Lizzie Fletcher Received 50.79% of the vote in 2020

Texas 15 Vicente Gonzalez Received 50.5% of the vote in 2020

Texas 32 Colin Allred  Received 51.95% of the vote in 2020

Virginia 02 Elaine Luria Received 51.6% of the vote in 2020

Washington 08 Kim Schrier  Received 51.79% of the vote in 2020

REDISTRICTING AND ITS IMPLICATIONS. – in order of map adoption

Oregon           Currently 5 seats – 4 Democrats and 1 Republican in two seats that are safely Democratic, one seat that is safely Republican, and two seats that are competitive.  The new map has 6 seats – two seats that are safely Democratic, two seats that lean Democratic, one seat that is safely Republican, and one seat that is competitive.  No promises here, but there is a decent chance that Oregon will elect 5 Democrats and 1 Republican – a gain of one Democratic seat.

Maine             Currently 2 seats – 2 Democrats in one seat that is safely Democratic and one seat that leans Republican.  The new map has two seats – one seat that is safely Democratic and one seat that leans Republican (though the lean is slightly diminished).  No promises here, but there is a decent chance that Maine will again elect 2 Democrats – no change.

Nebraska       Currently 3 seats – 2 Republicans in seats that are safely Republican, 1 Republican in a seat that is competitive.  The new map has 3 seats — 2 which are safely Republican, one seat that is competitive.  No promises here. There is a possibility that Democrats could win the competitive seat.  We should try, but the likely result is – no change.

Indiana           Currently 9 seats – 7 Republicans in six seats that are safely Republican and 1 seat that leans Republican. Two Democrats in one seats that leans Democratic and one seat that is safely Democratic.  The new map has 9 seats – 7 seats that are safely Republican, 1 seat that leans Democratic and 1 seat that is safely Democratic.  The possibility of a Democratic upset in one of the seats is diminished, the possibility of a Republican upset in one seat remains.  The likely result is – no change.

So far:  A probability of a gain of one Democratic seat.

Organizations to support

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)

The Democratic National Committee (DNC).   The official organization of the Democratic Party.

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