Birthdate: March 16, 1963
Birth Place: La Crosse, WI, United States
Residence: La Crosse, WI
First Elected: 1996
District: District 3
Ron Kind was born in La Crosse, Wis., where he still resides. He earned a bachelor's degree in government and economics in 1985 from Harvard University, where he played quarterback on the football team. He received a master's degree in 1986 from the London School of Economics and a law degree in 1990 from the University of Minnesota.
Kind served as a La Crosse County assistant district attorney from 1992 to 1996, when he was elected to the U.S. House.
Kind and his wife, Tawni, have two sons.
Ron Kind, a Wisconsin native, is only the third Democrat to represent the state's 3rd Congressional District. He has won re-election with fairly comfortable margins and his moderate stances reflect those of his constituents in the dairy farm-heavy area.
Kind ran unopposed in the August 2012 Democratic primary; he will face Republican Ray Boland in the November election.
He voted for the 2010 health care reform bill. "The law isn't perfect but it takes significant steps to get costs under control and provides important patient protections. We must find a way to continue working together to build on the important reforms made in the Affordable Care Act and continue implementing the law," Kind said after the June 2012 Supreme Court ruling upholding the legislation.
He supported the 2011 repeal of the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which barred gays from serving openly in the military. In 2010, he supported an almost $59 billion measure that included funds for a troop surge in Afghanistan and legislation to restore extended unemployment benefits to the long-term jobless.
Kind voted for the 2010 financial overhaul bill that gave regulators new authority to liquidate large, interconnected financial firms that are failing. He also sponsored bills that would raise physical education standards; allow the IRS to verify personal income to determine eligibility for Agriculture Department benefits and payments; and require the secretary of the interior to develop a registry of federal land.
Kind was the only Wisconsin Democrat in Congress to support free trade with China, despite pressure in his hometown of La Crosse from unions that claimed trade with China is costing jobs.
While a member of the House Budget Committee, Kind pushed for restrictions on President George W. Bush's tax cuts. He also criticized provisions in a congressional energy bill that give subsidies to oil and gas companies.
He opposed Bush's proposal to privatize Social Security and argued successfully that Fort McCoy and Volk Field, an Army training base and a National Guard air base in his district, should be kept off a Defense Department list of bases slated to be closed.
Kind voted to block a law that allows the government to sell wild horses and burros captured in the West. He also voted for a bill that would lift restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.
He voted against renewing portions of the Patriot Act in December 2005, saying law enforcement agencies need tools to protect the country but "without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens."
"Several of the powers included in this bill are overreaching, unnecessarily compromising the fundamental right to privacy and weakening the protection against searchers without probable cause," Kind said.
He led an unsuccessful effort in 2007 to impose stricter limits on farm payments and direct more money to conservation, nutrition, specialty crop and rural development programs.
Kind is founder and co-chair of the Congressional Organic Caucus, the National Parks Caucus, the Quality Care Coalition, the Upper Mississippi River Basin Congressional Task Force and the Wellness Caucus.
He's also the vice chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, a self-described group of moderate Democrats; the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus; and the Congressional Native American Caucus.
He's co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on the European Union, the Congressional Fitness Caucus and the Task Force on Childhood Obesity. He's a member and former co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.
Source: Associated Press