Two Major Anti-Walker Dems Declare For Baldwin’s House Seat

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September 7, 2011 9:50 a.m.
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Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) just declared her candidacy for Wisconsin’s open Senate – and already, two prominent Democrats have declared their candidacies for her House seat representing Madison and the surrounding counties.

Two Democratic state representatives, Mark Pocan and Kelda Roys, announced their campaigns Wednesday morning, and it remains possible that other Democrats could also declare for this deep-blue seat in a district Barack Obama carried by more than two-to-one in 2008.

During the recent debates on Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union legislation, both Pocan and Roys maintained high profiles in lobbing rhetorical fire against the proposals.Pocan has served in the Assembly since 1998, when he was elected to the seat that Baldwin held before her own run for Congress. Most notably in the recent protests, he created the orange T-shirts that the Assembly Democrats wore during the various debates on Walker’s legislation, through his print shop that is affiliated with the International Union of Painters and Allied Tradesmen. He has also coined the term “FitzWalkerstan,” a term of derision for the political culture in Wisconsin under the administration of Gov. Scott Walker and the two Republican brothers leading the legislature, state Senator Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.

For her part, Roys was first elected to the state Assembly in 2008, after having worked as an attorney and serving as executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin. After the 2010 elections she rose to become caucus chair for the Assembly Democrats, and thus had a hand in organizing the Democrats’ parliamentary maneuvers during the debates.

For a flashback to those heady moments, both candidates can be seen in this on-location video from late February. The Assembly Republicans passed the bill late at night, following days of continuous debate forced by the Democrats, with the Dems then yelling “Shame! Shame!” following the passage. Democrats complained that the vote was held too quickly and many of them were unable to register their opposition in the electronic voting system.

Roys is toward the front, wearing a tan vest over her orange T-shirt, while Pocan is in the middle of the Democratic rows, and can be seen early on in the shouting chorus of “Shame!”

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