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Duffy to challenge Obey in congressional race

He's a world champion lumberjack athlete, a former cast member on MTV's "Real World," and has been the district attorney in Ashland County. Now Sean Duffy is looking to add congressional representative to his list of achievements. Duffy, a Republ...

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy
U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy

He's a world champion lumberjack athlete, a former cast member on MTV's "Real World," and has been the district attorney in Ashland County.

Now Sean Duffy is looking to add congressional representative to his list of achievements.

Duffy, a Republican, announced Wednesday he is running for the Wisconsin 7th Congressional District seat, held for the past 40 years by Rep. Dave Obey, D-Wausau. Announcements were made Wednesday in Rothschild, Wis., and Duffy's hometown of Hayward, at the Lumberjack Bowl where Duffy earned his championship status three times in the 90-foot speed climb.

Duffy said irresponsible federal spending and massive growth in government -- spearheaded by Obey as the House Appropriations Committee chairman -- fueled the decision to run, although it was something he had been considering for some time.

"It's time to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington, D.C.," Duffy said during a rally surrounded by more than 200 supporters in Hayward. "That's only going to happen when people who know how to balance their family budget decide it's time for change. I'm one of those people. That's why I am running for Congress and that's why I ask all of you for your support."

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Duffy said while Obey says he stands for Wisconsin values, spending money that isn't there and promoting government takeover of private businesses are not Wisconsin values.

"Our representatives in Washington think they can borrow, spend and print our way out of this crisis," Duffy said. "Instead, they are creating a greater crisis. They are mortgaging our future, our children's future and even our grandchildren's future. I believe that it is wrong to spend and borrow on the backs of our children and grandchildren. But that's exactly what they are doing."

Duffy was born and raised in rural Wisconsin and earned his law degree in 1999. Through his role as a cast member of MTV's "Real World," he met his wife, Arizona native Rachel Campos. Together they have five children.

Superior Mayor Dave Ross, who introduced the congressional candidate to the crowd, said Duffy represents the kind of young leadership the nation needs.

Duffy said his campaign for the 2010 election will focus on issues and getting his message out to people of the 7th Congressional District.

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