Congressman Ron Kind (D) retires and who jumps into the primary race right away asking for your votes? Incumbents who are missing in action as elected officials. Right behind them is a former law maker with a poor record of co-sponsoring cannabis reform bills.
Who am I talking about? The possible contender list will grow, as the primary elections seem to make candidates come out of the wood work. So far the main two I am going to address are current Senator Brad Pfaff (D) and Assembly Representative Steve Doyle (D).
Brad Pfaff (D)
As a candidate Brad Pfaff touches on the polling that Wisconsin has conducted that supports the issue, medical professionals, medical conditions and the 33 states that have medical marijuana and he is here to have that conversation on medical; but on recreational he still thinks more talk is needed, recreational marijuana he needs to learn more and not ready move forward at this time on recreational. I tried to quote or word his exact statements from his candidate interview, but it rambled
Pfaff went onto win the election by less then 1% with only 582 votes to spare.
As an elected official he commits to his campaign promise and is in the minority of Democratic Senators not co-sponsoring adult use legislation this session. The analysis of Senate Bill 545 shows he did not co-sponsor this important piece of legislation. Now he asks for your vote in a federal seat, sending him to Washington D.C. as a congressman?
You should call Senator Pfaff at (608) 266-5490 and tell him that if he wants your vote in 2022, to add himself as a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 545 today.
Rep. Steve Doyle (D)
In our 2017 grading analysis, Rep. Steve Doyle (D) received a B- grade. He co-sponsored 3 out 7 items deemed important during that session. In early 2020 while doing incumbent and candidate research I disclosed that Rep. Doyle had not co-sponsored any legislation in the sessions after 2017. I uncovered a few news statements by Rep. Doyle and all this lead me to write an article entitled “Did Doyle Dump Marijuana Reform?”
What the heck is Steve saying?
July 2018: Doyle previously opposed the marijuana question because he was worried it would distract from the more important question of how to fund upkeep of the county road system. After hearing from a lot of Democrats who wanted him to support the ballot measure, he decided to seek some balance from the other side of the aisle.
He went to the La Crosse County Republican Party Facebook page, where he found a poll posted on marijuana legalization. On that poll, 85 percent supported legalization. While he said he wasn’t taking a position on legalization, he said he wanted to give people a chance to express their opinion.
Steve Doyle is a now show, again!
The analysis of Senate Bill 545 shows Rep. Doyle was did not co-sponsor this important piece of legislation. He was one of the six hold outs in a crowd of 38 Democratic assembly reps. So his support is not necessary needed, but he is in the clear minority on this issue.
Now he might ask for your vote in a federal seat, sending him to Washington D.C. as a congressman? You should call Assembly Rep Doyle (608) 266-0631 and tell him that if he wants your vote in 2022, you want him to co-sponsor Senate Bill 545.
Former Rep. Dana Wachs (D)
Speaking of 2017 and the past, a not so familiar name sticks out and needs a mention in this blog. Former Assembly Rep. Dana Wachs has indicated he might want to run and I said to myself, who? I quick searched and sure enough he was in our legislative scorecard from 2017 also receiving a B grade. He ran for Governor and in 2018 “Rep. Dana Wachs said he ‘is all in’, backing measures to overturn the state law that bars people from selling or smoking weed in Wisconsin.”
Brett Knudsen (D)
I know Brett Knudsen from facebook conversations about legalization of cannabis and medical marijuana. The guy is no stranger and very vocal on social media. His official campaign website has marijuana legalization as a platform plank. Listed under one of his main issues, he has this to say:
The state of Wisconsin MUST face reform within legalization of cannabis. I will push towards full legalization, any step I can. While I strive for a low tax rate, that way it can compete with street value, I will still say yes to any bill that legalizes. Taxation is more acceptable than incarceration.
He and his campaign website Knudsen4Congress have a lot more to say about the issue of legalization of marijuana.
Another candidate brewing the decision is likely Democrat Becca Cooke, as she seems to be making some news on social media with her anticipated run.
What about the Republicans?
We believe Republican Derek Van Orden will run in this race against one of the above. In July 2020 Van Orden commented on Facebook that we supports medical marijuana, not recreational.
Will we see a Republican primary for this Congressional Seat? Ballotpedia also list Denise Hurless as a possible candidate in the Republican Party.