Rob Zerban, the Democrat who lost to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan in last year’s election, is mounting a new challenge next year.
Zerban told The Associated Press this week he was getting back in the race.
He made his announcement official at a rally in Kenosha over the weekend.
He lost last year by 12 percentage points, 55 percent to 43 percent. But that was Ryan’s smallest margin of victory in eight races.
The 45-year-old Zerban is a former Kenosha County Board supervisor who used to run two small businesses. He blames Ryan for voting against ending the government shutdown, and for advancing a budget that cuts money from social-service programs.
“I have lived the American dream,” said Zerban. “But the American Dream is getting harder and harder to achieve. Under this incumbent Congressman, we have an economy that favors the very few, the wealthy and the well-connected.”
He added, “These last few weeks have made it clear that not only do we need a different vision for America than the incumbent, we need a different set of personal values.”
Zerban says he supports green technology, immigration reform and same-sex marriage.
“People in our neighborhoods don’t care first about being a Republican or Democrat,” said Zerban. “We don’t care about which party is up and which party is down. We care that our schools are strong, that we have access to quality, affordable health care that our communities are safe and our drinking water is clean and our air is breathable. We care that people get treated fairly, no matter who they love, and we care that women and men get treated the same. Most importantly – we want to know that there are jobs out there for our kids when they finish high school or college or technical school – and that if someone in our family loses their job, that they can find another one.”
Democrat Amar Kaleka, 35, also plans to run for the seat.