Feb. 9, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Democratic Interest Groups May Split in Baldwin's District

Courtesy Mark Pocan
Democratic state Reps. Mark Pocan (above) and Kelda Helen Roys have announced they are running for the seat Rep. Tammy Baldwin is vacating.

Dan McNally, who managed then-Rep. Dan Maffei’s (D-N.Y.) unsuccessful campaign last year, will manage Pocan’s bid. Along with Poersch, SKDKnickerbocker’s Julie Norton will also serve as a media consultant. Mission Control will handle direct mail and Anna Greenberg will serve as pollster.

In an interview Tuesday, Pocan sought to differentiate himself from Roys. He cited his more than 17 years in public service, including five on the Dane County Board of Supervisors, and 20 years owning his business. He co-chaired the Joint Committee on Finance, which writes the state budget, and has the same constituents Baldwin had when she was elected to Congress, he said.

“The breadth of both legislative experience and life experience are significantly different,” Pocan said.

A third candidate, state Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D), is also considering the race, but there is contradictory speculation in the district, including among Pocan and Roys, about whether he will ultimately run. Pocan isn’t so sure, while Roys expects he will. Erpenbach, who was first elected in 1998, told Roll Call he has yet to make up his mind.

Erpenbach was one of 14 state Senators that fled the state amid the battle with Republican Gov. Scott Walker over collective bargaining rights with state workers. He conducted multiple interviews on national TV, including on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” and “Colbert Report.”

“I expect to make a decision by the end of this week or early next week and make an announcement,” Erpenbach said Tuesday as he prepared to board a plane to Washington, D.C., to meet with the AFL-CIO board about the Wisconsin recall elections. “There’s a lot of encouragement for me to do it — as there is for Mark and Kelda — and it’s very intriguing.”

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