Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning on the news that Minocqua small business owner Kirk Bangstad has announced his candidacy for Wisconsin’s Seventh Congressional District.

“The people of north and central Wisconsin deserve a representative in Congress who will fight every day for policies that grow stronger communities – but instead they have Sean Duffy, who spends his time in Washington voting against their interests and his time in Wisconsin complaining about how he “struggles” on his $174,000 per year taxpayer-funded salary.

“In stark contrast, Kirk Bangstad is a small business owner with deep roots in the Northwoods who understands what it takes to work together to create economic opportunity for all. So I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Kirk, and his positive vision to strengthen our middle class economy, to the race for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional district.

“Unlike Sean Duffy, who voted in lockstep with Republican leadership to shut down the government and end the promise of Medicare, Kirk understands that our representatives in Washington should be focused on what unites us in expanding opportunity for all, and not a narrow partisan agenda.

"Should there be a primary, we are confident our open primary process will yield the strongest possible candidate next year.”