Water warrior, Lynn Utesch, is challenging a major polluters' figure, State Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) in a state assembly race in northeastern Wisconsin.
The campaign has been less blatantly deceitful than the water warrior races in central Wisconsin, but Kitchens is following the Republican playbook—implausibly pretending to work as an environmentalist while working behind the scenes for Scott Walker and Big Ag.
Coming off a League of Women Voters candidate forum this week in Door County, Utesch was roundly praised for a passionate and erudite performance that "cleaned the clock of" Joel Kitchens, in the words of a Utesch supporter.
Now, along with the Gorski-Krug race in assembly district 72, Utesch is gaining currency as a major pick-up opportunity featuring water and public schools as major issues in an election that may see some one dozen Democratic Party gains should the political trajectory keep moving towards a wave cycle.
Notes Dom Noth in an analysis of the Utesch-Kitchens race:
Issues of clean water, better agriculture and local control are hot buttons right now and they’ve pushed Lynn Utesch into prominence in a race that once looked assured for the Republican. But there is a difference between making noises for the ecology, as GOP Rep. Joel Kitchens has done, and knowing what you’re talking about, which is Utesch’s stock in trade.
The district covers much of Kewaunee County, a sliver of Brown and all of Door County, so Utesch’s roles in Kewaunee CARES and in pushing the Gaylord Nelson environmental vision are having resonance.
A farmer, veteran and well-known environmentalist, Utesch winning, (now favored roughly 55 to 45 probability), would signal a year in which even the most gerrymandered state in the country features Congressional and state legislative races spelling a Democratic rout.