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Barca announces run for Congress to challenge Steil

Barca announces run for Congress to challenge Steil

Barca will face at least two others in a democratic primary this August.

April 18, 2024 9:55 AM CDT

By: Jimmie Kaska / Stuart J. Wattles

KENOSHA, Wis. (WRJN) – Former Representative and Gov. Tony Evers cabinet member Peter Barca is running for Congress.

Barca seeks to replace Republican Rep. Bryan Steil in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District.

A campaign kick-off event was held at Apple Holler in Racine County. At the event, Barca, a former state Assembly leader, emphasized his commitment to protecting the environment, supporting the middle class, and addressing key workforce and healthcare issues

He pledged to introduce bills to empower businesses, expand access to quality healthcare, and safeguard reproductive freedom

Mahlon Mitchell, the President of the Wisconsin Professional Firefighters’ Association, endorsed Barca at the gathering, praising his long-standing support for firefighters, paramedics, and working families in the state. He highlighted Barca’s advocacy for disability provisions for injured firefighters, the state’s prevailing wage act, and the “Buy America” program.

The event also featured endorsements from local leaders, including former Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, who praised Barca’s trustworthiness and family values

Barca’s mentor, the late Joe Andrea, was also remembered for teaching the importance of prompt responsiveness to constituents’ needs

Barca’s opponent, Steil, was criticized for what Barca called an unproductive tenure and having opposition to popular policies, such as lowering prescription drug costs and capping insulin prices. The Kenosha native said he’s a fiscal conservative Democrat, which he said, represents the district.

Barca, a Democrat, resigned from the Evers administration earlier this month, where he was the the Department of Revenue Secretary.

“My record has been one of creating good-paying jobs and building a world class workforce; lowering costs and delivering tax relief to middle class families; and expanding access to health care,” Barca said in his campaign announcement. “This stands in stark contrast to the do-nothing, dysfunctional Congress we have in Washington.”

Barca will face Diane Anderson, a health care professional, and Lorenzo Santos, the deputy coordinator of Racine County Emergency Management, in the democratic primary in August.

Barca was a member of the Wisconsin Assembly from 1985 to 1993, and again from 2009 until 2019, where he was the Assembly Minority Leader from 2011-2017. He left the Assembly in 1993 to serve one term in Congress, losing in an election to Republican Mark Neumann in 1995.

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