I’ve been out of town the last few days but found out some interesting news upon my return. It appears that for the first time in years 6th District Congressman Tom Petri (RINO) will have a challenger. Ken Kratz, best known for getting two convictions in the Halbach homicide case, announced his intention to run.
Kratz said he was approached by various business and political figures since the beginning of the year. “As individuals approached me, I felt I owed it to myself to at least take a look at it, and that’s what I intend to do the next couple months,” he said late Monday.
“I’ve honestly never thought of myself as representing the people of this district — I’m a prosecutor, not a politician.”
He said he hadn’t thought of the possibility until a couple months ago.
“Whatever happens with this exploratory campaign, I will continue to focus on what is important to the people I represent. Honesty, respect and sensitivity — that’s what people expect from me, and whatever position I hold, that’s what they will get.”
One of Kratz’s supporters, Brad W. Grant of Brillion, who is president and CEO of the Calumet County Bank and treasurer and financial director for the campaign committee, said Kratz offers a “unique opportunity” for voters.
“Ken’s ability to rally support, both financial and political, will become obvious very early in his campaign.”
The 6th District covers 10 counties, from the south side of Appleton to Watertown, and from Lake Michigan to Adams County.
Kratz has chaired the state Crime Victims Rights Board since it was started in 1998, and chaired its predecessor, the Victims Rights Council, since 1993.
Not surprisingly the national GOP, doesn’t get it and is planning to back Petri.
Petri, 67, Fond du Lac, is known as a moderate Republican who occasionally bucks the party line. He has not said yet he will seek election to a 16th term, but a staff member said Tuesday he will run. “It was never a question,” said Niel Wright, a Petri spokesman.
If Petri does seek re-election, he has the backing of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the political arm of the House GOP devoted to retaining Republican seats and ousting Democratic incumbents.
“We are confident that Congressman Petri’s record in the district will get him re-elected,” said Julie Shutley, a spokeswoman for the NRCC. “We are a committee comprised of our incumbents. Our primary mission is to beat Democrats, and definitely, a part of that is protection of our incumbents.”
Ken was right to point out how Petri has served with distinction but he’s right about people wanting new ideas. I like what I hear from supporters –
Neenah attorney Rob Bellin, a member of Kratz’s committee, called Kratz “a fair and open-minded prosecutor.
“He is probably one of the most appealing congressional candidates to come along in a long time,” Bellin said. “If he can advocate for victims like he has for so many years, I think he would advocate for citizens the same way.”
Kratz served as special prosecutor in the trials of Steven Avery and nephew Brendan Dassey, who were convicted of killing Teresa Halbach.
Shirley Gregory, who worked for Kratz for six years and now is Calumet County register of deeds, said she supports him because of his “honesty, character, dignity.
“He says what he means and he does what he says,” she said.
I also like this from Ken himself because it is something too many politicians don’t do, especially those in office for as long as Petri.
“Our biggest goal will be to listen.”
I’ll be looking for more about his “conservative” credentials and at this point hope he runs this year.