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Raihala makes bid for U.S. Congress

Don Raihala

Four years ago, Don Raihala ran for Congress because little was getting done in Washington D.C., except raising the nation’s debt -- then around $14 trillion.

Now, with the nation’s debt more than $17.5 million, the Superior Republican — he ran as a Democrat in 2010 — is throwing his hat in the ring again because still nothing is getting done, he said.

Raihala said he is running for office because he’s dissatisfied with the federal government and the direction those now in office are leading the nation.

“The U.S. Government is currently spending at an accelerated pace, beating the drum of economic recovery as the reasoning and totally ignoring the nearly insurmountable buildup of the national debt,” Raihala said. “I’ve got to do my part. Since I have the time and the capacity, I’m going to run.”

Raihala is the second Republican candidate to challenge U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston, for the 7th Congressional District in Wisconsin. John Schiess of Rice Lake declared his candidacy in February, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board website.

Ashland City Councilor Kelly Westlund announced plans in December to run for the seat as a Democrat.

“I want to put Sean Duffy to a primary because he’s not voting as fiscally conservative as people want him to,” said Raihala, who endorse Duffy as the more conservative of the candidates in 2010. “He’s voted for debt ceiling increases and he’s voted for unbalanced bills. He’s voted for a lot of spending bills that he doesn’t need to be voting for.”

Born and raised in Superior, Raihala is a licensed broker and property manager for his own real estate business, State Lands Realty. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a dual major in accounting and finance. He has worked as an accountant, purchasing agent, project manager, construction trades, landlord, housing resale investor, real estate broker and property manager. He has owned or co-owned several businesses in the construction and landscaping trades.

“We need consistency … not just Sean, but all our representatives,” Raihala said.

The way things are working now, bills are being stacked with pet projects and spending so nothing is getting done in Washington D.C., Raihala said. Every year for the last four, there have been trillion dollar deficits, he said.

“That needs to end,” Raihala said. “The main thing I’m preaching here is we have to say ‘no’ consistently, all the time. I think if there are enough representatives and senators that are saying no something will get done ... Sean Duffy does not say ‘no.’”

After all, the national debt exceeding $17.5 trillion is a major concern for the Superior businessman.

“This is simply unacceptable,” Raihala said.

For more information and a look at Raihala’s stand on other issues, go to