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Former La Crosse County Board chair Tara Johnson starts campaign for 3rd US House District seat



Former La Crosse County Board chair Tara Johnson is running for a seat in the US House of Representatives.

Johnson is the third person to enter the 2024 Democratic primary to challenge Republican Derrick Van Orden in Wisconsin’s 3rd District.

FILE – Tara Johnson speaks during a Democratic Party rally in La Crosse in March of 2020.

She claims that Van Orden, in his first year in office, has become a “creature of Washington.”

She disagrees with votes he has taken, and also “his lack of support for veterans, his lack of support for Social Security and Medicare, so it goes beyond the embarrassment of his behavior. It really is his voting record as well.”

Johnson said she is embarrassed by a recent incident where Van Orden called teenage interns “lazy sh***” and told them to “get the f*** up,” while they were lying on the floor and taking pictures of Capitol rotunda.

Johnson had considered running in last year’s US House election to succeed the retiring Ron Kind, but decided now was the time to launch a campaign. She plans to emphasize women’s reproductive rights, clean air and water and greater access to the internet.

Johnson headed the La Crosse area United Way for many years and served for two decades on the County Board.

She also ran for Wisconsin state Senate in 2008.

Rebecca Cooke and Aaron Nytes are already running as Democrats to challenge Van Orden in western Wisconsin.

Last year’s Democratic primary winner, Brad Pfaff, announced last week he was not running, and would instead try and retain his Wisconsin state Senate seat. Deb McGrath, who also ran in 2022, announced last week she would not run again, as well.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Studious

    September 7, 2023 at 11:58 pm

    Picture…Democrats always look so angry. What a gloomy looking group.

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