U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) has an opponent this fall, though you may not have heard much about him. Peter Theron, a Republican from Madison, entered the race late.
"This is my first campaign," says Theron. "I didn't realize I was waiting so long."
Theron has raised only about $5,000 so far. Baldwin's last campaign filing says she's raised more than $800,000 and has $322,000 cash on hand. But Theron believes she's vulnerable.
"She has a record to defend," he says. "That's her burden."
Theron, who has taught computer science and statistics at UW-Whitewater and Beloit College, attacks Baldwin's inaction on rising fuel prices. "Baldwin sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee, where she's done nothing to increase our supply," he says, adding that the U.S. should be drilling for oil offshore and in Alaska. "We're forcing people to pay through the nose because we don't have any alternatives."
And Theron supports keeping soldiers in Iraq. "We are winning the war," he says. "We need to continue our work."
Although some Madison liberals were angry at Baldwin for not pushing to impeach President Bush, no Democrats are challenging her. Dave St. Amant of Madison intended to run, but failed to obtain the 1,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot.
"I have heard from a number of sources recently that Tammy has become more responsive to the progressive concerns of the community," says St. Amant. "So perhaps I helped in some way."
And, if not, "There's always 2010."