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Politics & Government

Democrat Westlund Campaigns in Rhinelander

Natalie Jablonski

A Democratic challenger to Representative Sean Duffy paid a visit to Rhinelander Tuesday.  Kelly Westlund declared her candidacy last week.

About thirty people gathered at the Rhinelander Days Inn to hear from the newest candidate to represent Wisconsin’s 7th  Congressional district.  The 30-year-old Kelly Westlund has served for two years on the Ashland City Council.  Her background is in environmental and sustainability work.  And she says she’s not worried about being relatively new to the political game. 

“There are a lot of people Congressman Obey was my age when he ran for this same office. So I think it’s more about being a person who has good judgment than being a person with a lot of political background.”

Speaking as part of a panel with two other local Democratic leaders, Westlund stressed her campaign’s commitment to working people, and protecting social service programs like food aid. 

“Congressman Duffy just voted to cut $40 billion dollars in food benefits. And a lot of those benefits are for children. One in four children in this district rely on some kind of food assistance.”

Much of the discussion focused on ousting current Representative Sean Duffy.  One supporter wore a t-shirt with Duffy’s name crossed out.  Here’s Rhinelander resident Mike Koltz. 

Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News
Rhinelander resident Mike Koltz says he hasn't been political recently, until now.

“He speaks for just the rich. He doesn’t speak for the poor or the middle class.

Westlund says in the early days of her campaign she’s focusing on meeting and hearing from constituents about what’s important to them.  

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