Wisconsin Rep. Ron Kind Won't Seek Reelection in District Trump Won in 2020

Wisconsin Representative Ron Kind said Tuesday he won't seek out reelection in a southwestern district that former President Donald Trump carried in 2020, the Associated Press reported.

The democrat served the state of Wisconsin for 24 years and is just one of seven House Democrats serving in districts won by Trump. Kind's departure makes it more difficult for Democrats to maintain their majority in the House in next year's midterm elections.

"The truth is I've run out of gas," he said in a news conference in his hometown of La Crosse. A moderate Democrat, Kind said he is part of a "dying breed" of politicians who believe in bipartisanship and finding common ground. He said the goal shouldn't be to destroy those on the other side, that politics isn't a "constant combat sport."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Rep. Ron Kind Decides Against Reelection
Wisconsin Representative Ron Kind decided against going up for reelection in a southwestern district that former President Donald Trump carried in 2020. A woman casts her ballot at the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building on the first day of in-person early voting for the November 3, 2020 elections in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 20, 2020. Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

Kind, the longest-serving Democrat in Wisconsin's delegation, narrowly won reelection in 2020 by less than 3 points. Trump carried the sprawling western Wisconsin district that borders Minnesota by nearly 5 points. Kind was a top target for Republicans in 2022 as he faced a rematch with Derrick Van Orden.

Kind was first elected in 1996. His announcement that he's not seeking a 14th term came one day before the U.S. Census Bureau was to release population data that will determine the lines of Wisconsin's eight congressional districts. Wisconsin is not gaining or losing a congressional seat, but the lines of the existing eight districts could change dramatically.

Kind's district has trended more conservative in recent years. Former President Barack Obama won it by 11 points in 2012, but Trump carried it by more than 4 points in both 2016 and 2020. Kind did not have an opponent in 2016 and won with nearly 60 percent of the vote in 2018, but he won by just 2.7 points over Van Orden, a retired Navy SEAL, in 2020.

Kind, 58, has said he would have a more difficult time facing Van Orden a second time in 2022.

"Kind's retirement is the clearest sign yet that Democrats' House majority is toast," said Mike Berg, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District covers southwestern Wisconsin and includes many rural communities where support for Trump was strong.

Kind earlier this year did not rule out a possible run for U.S. Senate next year for the seat currently held by Republican Sen. Ron Johnson. Kind has long been mentioned as a potential candidate for statewide office, but he's always opted to remain in the House.

Rep. Ron Kind Decides Against Reelection
Wisconsin Representative Ron Kind said he ran "out of gas" in order to go up for reelection in the state he served for more than 24 years. Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the Milwaukee election commission collects the count from absentee ballots from a voting machine on November 04, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Scott Olson/Getty Images