A retired Army officer from Trempealeau County announced plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Ron Kind next year in Wisconsin’s 3rd district, saying the 11-term Democrat has nothing to show for his more than 20 years in Congress.
59-year-old Steve Toft says the nation is facing “challenges of epic proportions” because of “top-heavy agencies” and skyrocketing debt.
Toft said he favors transferring more power to state government and would work to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to enact tax reform while protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits.
A native of Osseo, Toft enlisted in the Army in 1984 and returned to Osseo last year after retiring as a colonel. This is his first run for elected office.
Toft said Kind, who was first elected in 1996, is a career politician who has not supported Wisconsin farmers.
Kind held off a similar challenger in 2014 when he defeated Tony Kurtz, a retired Army officer making his first bid for public office. He was re-elected to an 11th term after running unopposed in 2016.
Toft said he was recruited by party leaders to run against Kind when Kurtz declined to run again. He said he would welcome a primary challenge but expects to be on the ballot for the 3rd Congressional District in 2018.