State treasurer Sarah Godlewski ‘seriously considering’ U.S. Senate run as Ron Kind also looks at race

U.S. Rep Ron Kind, left, and Wisconsin state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski.

As the potential Democratic runners get in position for next year’s U.S. Senate race, a familiar name can’t be dismissed.

That would be U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, who represents the sprawling 3rd Congressional District in western Wisconsin.

On Friday, after a recorded interview with WKOW-TV Capitol Bureau Chief A.J. Bayatpour, Kind suggested he might be looking at next year’s race.

Bayatpour tweeted that he asked Kind if he would jump into the race and the congressman responded, “down the road, I’m sure we’ll be taking a look at that.”

Asked later by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel if he was thinking about running for U.S. Senate, Kind said in a brief text, “No decisions have been made.”

Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has not yet announced if he’ll seek a third term next year.

There are three Democrats in the race: Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson and Gillian Battino, a radiologist.

Another potential Democratic runner is nearing a decision on the race, state treasurer Sarah Godlewski.

“Sarah is seriously considering a run for U.S. Senate and expects to make a final decision this spring,” a spokesman for Godlewski said. “If she runs, Sarah will be a formidable candidate to both win the Democratic primary and defeat Ron Johnson.”

Other Democrats considering runs are Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Steven Olikara, founder and chief executive of the Millennial Action Project. State Sen. Chris Larson of Milwaukee and former congressional candidate Randy Bryce are weighing runs as well.

Kind flirting with higher office is nothing new. He previously considered entering races for U.S. Senate and governor but always stopped short and instead focused on his re-election to the House of Representatives.

First elected to Congress in 1996, the moderate Democrat has been a leader among the party’s centrist members in the House. He is the most senior member of Congress from Wisconsin.

Kind has long represented one of the most evenly-balanced districts in Congress but one that has shifted in a Republican direction in the Donald Trump era.

Former President Trump carried Kind’s district in 2016 and 2020 by a little over 4 points. In 2020, Kind was one of only seven Democrats who won House races in districts that Trump also carried.

Kind’s decision could be influenced on how his district changes in redistricting and whether it becomes harder or easier for a Democrat to carry after the lines are redrawn.

He’s also a top target for Republicans who are seeking to flip the House in 2022.

Craig Gilbert of the Journal Sentinel contributed.