Democrat battle for Baldwin's House seat gets nasty

Jul 19, 2012

The race to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin’s Second District, which includes Beloit and much of Rock County,  has turned into a nasty fight between legislative colleagues, one championing experience and pragmatism, the other touting passion and exuberance.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that eyes turned to 47-year-old state Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, when Baldwin announced in September that she would run for the U.S. Senate. The 14-year legislator  replaced Baldwin in the Assembly and seemed the obvious choice to fill her seat

But an hour before Pocan announced his candidacy, state Rep. Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison, sent out a statement entering the race. The 33-year-old was first elected to the Assembly in 2008 with Pocan's help, and was seen as a potential rising star.

"Roys seems to be making a kind of Democratic tea party argument," said Mordecai Lee, UW-Milwaukee political science professor and former Democratic state lawmaker. "It will be interesting to see if that can overcome Pocan's establishment support."

Also running are Matt Silverman, 30, a Madison lawyer, and Dennis Hall, 63, a security consultant.