Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 1996, 9th term.

Born: March 16, 1963, La Crosse, WI

Home: La Crosse, WI

Education: Harvard U., B.A. 1985, London Schl. of Econ., 1986, U. of MN, J.D. 1990

Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1990–92; Asst. st. prosecutor, La Crosse Cnty., 1992–96.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Lutheran

Family: Married (Tawni Zappa) , 2 children

Ron Kind, a Democrat elected in 1996, is a moderate who focuses on health and agriculture issues from his perch on the Ways and Means Committee. He is the chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, a business-oriented group that attempts to break through partisan gridlock.

Kind grew up in a large family in La Crosse, the son of a telephone repairman and a secretary in the local schools. He went to Harvard University on a scholarship and played quarterback. He worked as a summer intern for Democratic Sen. William Proxmire, doing research for Proxmire’s Golden Fleece awards pointing out wasteful government spending. Kind attended the London School of Economics and the University of Minnesota’s law school, practiced law in a large firm in Milwaukee, and then returned home to La Crosse to work as an assistant prosecutor on rape and sexual abuse cases.

Kind started running for Congress soon after moderate Republican Steve Gunderson announced in 1994 that he would not seek reelection. Former state Sen. Jim Harsdorf won the Republican primary and made a case for a balanced budget and for Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson’s “Wisconsin Works” welfare reform program. Kind presented his own balanced budget proposal and urged reform of the campaign finance system. Kind won, 52%-48%.

In early 2013, Kind took over as head of the New Democrat Coalition, which grew from 43 to 50 members in the new Congress. “We want to work hard to find that sensible center on policy and move the ball,” he told The Hill newspaper.He formerly co-chaired the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus of pro-conservation hunters and received the National Rifle Association’s endorsement in 2010. He refused to support liberal Democrat Nancy Pelosi in her bid for minority leader in January 2011, casting his vote for Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper, another moderate. He did back Pelosi two years later. But he irked his party after becoming one of the 17 House Democrats to vote in favor of criminal contempt charges in 2012 against Attorney General Eric Holder in connection with the controversial “Fast and Furious” gun-tracing operation.

With dairy farming prominent in his district, Kind is vitally interested in issues affecting farmers. In July 2012, he complained in a letter to colleagues that the GOP-written farm bill that passed the House Agriculture Committee “takes us backward in terms of budget-busting crop subsidies, unlimited insurance subsidies, and trade-distorting programs.” In 2007, he joined with conservative deficit hawks and suburban and urban Democrats in an attempt to add provisions to the farm bill that would have changed federal policy for agricultural subsidies and provided more funds for land conservation and school nutrition. “For too long, we’ve had large taxpayer subsidies going to a few very large farming entities to the disadvantage of family farmers,” Kind said. Kind won 200 votes for similar provisions in the 2002 farm bill, but this time around, the Democratic leadership was worried about angering farmers’ groups in rural swing districts and refused to allow a vote by the full House. The plan died in committee. Kind voted against the final version of the farm bill, calling it a “nightmare.”

Despite the farm subsidies that flow to the district, he said that the vast majority of producers he represents don’t get huge agriculture subsidies because they’re not large agribusinesses. When President Barack Obama unveiled a plan in April 2009 to save nearly $10 billion by putting strict limits on subsidies, Kind worked with the White House to revamp the measure. On Ways and Means, he also has championed tax credits aimed at encouraging farmers to control animal waste while producing renewable biogas energy. He told The Stevens Point Journal in 2012 that Wisconsin could see “a manufacturing renaissance” with more public-private sector partnerships.

Kind got an early start on the health care overhaul debate in 2009, co-sponsoring a bill to put greater emphasis on quality and coordination of care in reimbursing health care providers. He was dissatisfied with the version that passed Ways and Means the next month and was one of three Democrats who joined committee Republicans in opposing it. But after a series of lengthy meetings that he and others held with Pelosi on containing the spiraling costs of Medicare, he pronounced himself satisfied with the legislation. He ultimately succeeded in getting $800 million in immediate payments for doctors and hospitals as well as a commitment for a value-based system for paying providers, and he backed the version that became law.

In 2004, Kind had his first credible challenger, Republican state Sen. Dale Schultz, a moderate in the Wisconsin legislature. Schultz ran with an unlikely Republican theme, criticizing Kind as a free trader who had sent jobs overseas. Kind affirmed his support for trade agreements, but he criticized the Bush administration for failing to enforce their labor and environmental protection terms. Kind won, 56%-43%, and two years later did even better, attaining 65% of the vote.

In 2010, another serious challenger emerged, Dan Kapanke, a Republican state senator who lambasted Kind for his support of the health care bill and Obama’s economic agenda. Less than a week before the election, Wisconsin Republicans alleged that a Kind staffer asked for campaign contributions in 2007 to arrange a meeting between the congressman and a group of doctors. Kind called the charge “blatant lies” and questioned the timing of the complaint. He survived with a 50%-46% win.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5506

(202) 225-5739

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1502
Washington, DC 20515-4903

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5506

(202) 225-5739

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1502
Washington, DC 20515-4903

DISTRICT OFFICE

(608) 782-2558

(608) 782-4588

205 Fifth Avenue South Suite 400
La Crosse, WI 54601-4059

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-5506

(202) 225-5739

205 Fifth Avenue South Suite 400
La Crosse, WI 54601-4059

DISTRICT OFFICE

(715) 831-9214

(715) 831-9272

131 South Barstow Street Suite 301
Eau Claire, WI 54701-2625

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-5506

(202) 225-5739

131 South Barstow Street Suite 301
Eau Claire, WI 54701-2625

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-5506

(202) 225-5739

3061 Edgewater Lane
La Crosse, WI 54603

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

3061 Edgewater Lane
La Crosse, WI 54603

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Aerospace

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Karrie Jackelen
Deputy District Director

Alex Eveland
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Hana Greenberg
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Hana Greenberg
Legislative Assistant

Campaign

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Census

Karrie Jackelen
Deputy District Director

Crime

Mark Aumann
Congressional Aide

Disability

Danice Stanton
Congressional Aide

Education

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Mark Aumann
Congressional Aide

Energy

Alex Eveland
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Karrie Jackelen
Deputy District Director

Alex Eveland
Legislative Assistant

Family

Janet Sundby
Congressional Aide

Finance

Hana Greenberg
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Hana Greenberg
Legislative Assistant

Mark Aumann
Congressional Aide

Grants

Mark Aumann
Congressional Aide

Gun Issues

Alex Eveland
Legislative Assistant

Health

Elizabeth Stower
Legislative Director

Danice Stanton
Congressional Aide

Homeland Security

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Housing

Karrie Jackelen
Deputy District Director

Alex Eveland
Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

Elizabeth Stower
Legislative Director

Immigration

Janet Sundby
Congressional Aide

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Karrie Jackelen
Deputy District Director

Hana Greenberg
Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Elizabeth Stower
Legislative Director

Danice Stanton
Congressional Aide

Military

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Mark Aumann
Congressional Aide

Native Americans

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Mark Aumann
Congressional Aide

Public Affairs

Mark Aumann
Congressional Aide

Public Works

Alex Eveland
Legislative Assistant

Science

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Hana Greenberg
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Alex Eveland
Legislative Assistant

Danice Stanton
Congressional Aide

Tax

Janet Sundby
Congressional Aide

Hana Greenberg
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Jason Burke
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Hana Greenberg
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Alex Eveland
Legislative Assistant

Mark Aumann
Congressional Aide

Veterans

Alex Eveland
Legislative Assistant

Mark Aumann
Congressional Aide

Women

Elizabeth Stower
Legislative Director

Election Results

2014 GENERAL
Ron Kind
Votes: 155,221
Percent: 56.67%
Tony Kurtz
Votes: 118,669
Percent: 43.33%
2012 GENERAL
Ron Kind
Votes: 217,712
Percent: 64.14%
Ray Boland
Votes: 121,713
Percent: 35.86%
2012 PRIMARY
Ron Kind
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Ron Kind
Votes: 126,380
Percent: 50.28%
Dan Kapanke
Votes: 116,838
Percent: 46.49%
2010 PRIMARY
Ron Kind
Votes: 24,514
Percent: 100.0%
2008 GENERAL
Ron Kind
Votes: 225,208
Percent: 63.19%
Paul Stark
Votes: 122,760
Percent: 34.44%
2008 PRIMARY
Ron Kind
Votes: 18,039
Percent: 99.66%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (50%), 2008 (63%), 2006 (65%), 2004 (56%), 2002 (63%), 2000 (64%), 1998 (71%), 1996 (52%)

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