Kelly Westlund to challenge Duffy in WI-7

Ashland, Wis., City Councilor Kelly Westlund

Kelly Westlund, a Democratic Ashland City Councilor, will challenge GOP Rep. Sean Duffy in Wisconsin’s 7th District in 2014.

Ashland, Wis., City Councilor Kelly Westlund will challenge U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI7) in the 2014 election. Westlund is in her first term as city councilor in this northern Wisconsin city where Duffy served as a county attorney prior to his election in the Tea Party wave of 2010. Duffy won his 2012 re-election bid with relative ease against a former TV news anchor in a campaign that was essentially a parody of itself.

Wisconsin’s 7th District became more Republican after the 2012 redistricting and isn’t on the list of swing districts that are likely to change hands next year. It is, however, the kind of district that could flip with a strong candidate or in a major wave election. Kelly Westlund appears to be more of a newcomer, so it remains to be seen whether she’ll be a serious threat to Duffy or not.

Duffy was a competitive lumberjack (a racing lumberjack not a working lumberjack) before hitting it big on the first season of MTV’s The Real World — you know, back when that meant something. He landed a job as a county attorney before winning the open congressional seat after the retirement of longtime Rep. Dave Obey (D-WI7).

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