Duffy steps up for congressional bidFans of MTV’s “Real World” may remember Sean Duffy, whose prowess on the 90-foot speed climb during the Lumberjack World Championships earned him the title of world champion three times.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Fans of MTV’s “Real World” may remember Sean Duffy, whose prowess on the 90-foot speed climb during the Lumberjack World Championships earned him the title of world champion three times.
For the last seven years, Ashland County has known Duffy as district attorney, appointed to the post in 2002 by Gov. Scott McCallum initially.
“I’m proud of my record as a prosecutor,” Duffy said. “I’m proud of my jury trial success rate, which stands at over 90 percent. But I am most proud of my success of putting child sexual predators behind bars, right where they belong.”
Now, however, the prosecutor that has made a name for himself through a variety of television appearances, and in the courtroom, is looking to add to his list of accomplishments – as the representative of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District.
Duffy, a Republican, announced plans to run for the seat in 2010 held by Rep. Dave Obey, D-Wausau, for the last 40 years. Announcements were made Wednesday at Wausau Homes in Rothschild, Wis., and Duffy’s hometown of Hayward, at the Lumberjack Bowl where earned his champion status.
Irresponsible federal spending and massive growth in government – spearheaded by Obey as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee – fueled the decision to run, Duffy said.
“I’ve been thinking about this for awhile but what really pushed me over the edge was Dave Obey’s fiscal irresponsibility in Washington – seeing the bailout and then the stimulus and now this new budget, and what that means for my children. It’s unacceptable and unsustainable.”
Superior Mayor Dave Ross, who introduced the congressional candidate to the crowd, said Duffy represents the kind of young leadership the nation needs.
“Sean is the new generation of leadership,” Ross said. “Sean represents an America that is full of hope and opportunity. Sean is not just a leader who is able to point out the problem; he can guide us to push solutions for these difficult challenges that we face.”
Duffy said he has the right stuff and by announcing his candidacy early, it will allow him to get out there so people know who he is and where he stands on the issues when voters head to the polls.
“It’s time to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington D.C.,” Duffy said during a rally surrounded by more than 200 supporters in Hayward. “That’s only going to happen when people who know how to balance their family budget decide it’s time for change. I’m one of those people. That’s why I am running for Congress and that’s why I ask for all of you for your support.”
Duffy said while Obey says he stands for Wisconsin values – spending money that isn’t there and promoting government takeover of private businesses are not Wisconsin values.
“I believe in Wisconsin values and the Wisconsin way of life,” Duffy said. “In fact, it is Wisconsin values, ideas and common sense that are needed now, more than ever, in Washington D.C.”
Business and individuals – not government agencies – create the nation’s wealth, Duffy said.
“Our representatives in Washington think they can borrow, spend and print our way out of this crisis,” Duffy said. “Instead, they are creating a greater crisis – they are mortgaging our future, our children’s future and even our grandchildren’s future. I believe that it is wrong to spend and borrow on the backs of our children and grandchildren. But that’s exactly what they are doing.”
Duffy was born and raised in rural Wisconsin. He earned his law degree in 1999. Through his role as a cast member of MTV’s “Real World,” he met his wife, Arizona-native Rachel Campos; together they have five children.
The great thing about being on reality TV is that’s where he met his wife, Duffy said. Twelve years later, he said he’s not sure that experience will bolster recognition.
“When I did that show I didn’t know I was going to run for Congress,” Duffy said. “And I’m sure that there are things on that show that are going to embarrass me know that I’m a father of five and DA, but that’s OK. But what I think people want is not to talk about some reality TV program 12 years ago. They want to talk about reality today.”