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Wisconsin – 8th District

Democrat Candidate Funds On Hand Recent Poll Steve Kagen $318,000 46% Republican John Gard $657,000 36%

Incumbent Mark Green is departing this seat for a less-than-likely run for governor, and both parties have hotly contested primaries for the chance to win this Republican-held seat. The primary will be held Sept. 12. John Gard is the likely winner on the Republican side, while Steve Kagen is leading in polling and fundraising on the Democratic side. The Cook Political Report ranks this race “Lean Republican.” The District Covering northeast Wisconsin, including the cities of Green Bay and Appleton, this district has been held by Green since 1998. Running to replace him on the Democratic side, along with Kagen, are Nancy Nusbaum and James Wall, while Gard is running against state Rep. Terri McCormick. The district is competitive; it supported Bush by 55% in 2004, but has also supported Gov. Jim Doyle, Sens. Feingold and Kohl, and Bill Clinton. About Steve Kagen Steve Kagen is making his first run for political office after a long career in health care. An allergist, he has been named one of the best doctors in America by his colleagues. His primary agenda is to improve access to affordable health care, and he has put together a proposal called “No Patient Left Behind.” He is also a strong proponent of public integrity, alternative energy, a living wage and an exit strategy in Iraq. About John Gard Gard touts himself as “a leader on many conservative causes” during his nearly 20 years in the state Assembly. He has served as Speaker of the state Assembly, advancing the Republican cause on taxes, public services and social issues. He is receiving the strong backing of the NRCC and outgoing Rep. Green, and he is expected to be a reliable vote for the agenda of Bush and the GOP House leadership. He has declined to debate fellow GOP state Rep. McCormick, who has accused Gard of “a reform blockade” and ignoring “the smell of scandal…government for sale to the highest bidder” for his vote against a bipartisan ethics bill. Fundraising and Polling Kagen and Gard have both raised and spent heavily in their attempt to win this seat. Gard has brought in nearly $1.8 million and retains $657,000 on hand. Kagen has taken in $1.6 million and retains $318,000. He has begun to tap into his ability to self-fund. Kagen’s internal polling showed him ahead of Gard 46-36, although the poll oversampled Democrats in order to accurately poll the primary. Nevertheless, this shows a race likely to be close. Sources:,,,
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