â¢ In WI-08, currently held by second-term Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen, former Niagara Mayor Joe Stern announced earlier this week that he'll be running against Kagen -- as a conservative independent: "Neither party is truly serving my interests at this point. I'm not going to run as a Republican, but I'll be happy to take their money." This is a historically Republican district -- indeed, it was the home region of Joe McCarthy -- but it has been moving to the Democrats in recent years, and Stern could potentially split the non-Democratic vote in a tight race.
A Republican strategist who requested anonymity gave us this comment, dismissing the right-wing challengers: "These are nominal challenges that will likely be unable to replicate what happened in NY-23 due to the lack of a credible third party line like the Conservative Party's in New York. They will also lack ammunition since virtually every single Republican running for Congress will be further to the right of Scozzafava on the issues and they won't have the undivided attention of the electorate and presidential candidates since these congressional races won't be the only show in town."
It's hard to tell whether any of these challenges will gain traction. But if even one does, it would sure be entertaining.