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Eau Claire business owner explains why she's running for Congress

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Cooke interview

EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - A local businesswoman has announced plans to run for Congress, aiming for the state's 3rd Congressional District seat.

Rebecca Cooke, owner of Red's Mercantile in Eau Claire, would make history should she be elected. 

"I think that it's important for congress to be representative of what America looks like, so I think it would be an honor to be the first woman to represent this seat," Cooke said. "Women's issues are something I've fought for my entire life, whether it's representation in business, and beyond."

Cooke's campaign values share many commonalities with the man currently elected to the seat.

Congressman Ron Kind has a focus on making Wisconsin's farmers and business owners a priority. Cooke said she was raised on a farm, and would draw on her upbringing to relate to her constituents.

She added her campaign is about a common sense approach to politics, inclusivity, and bringing folks together.

When it comes to Republican opponent Derrick Van Orden, she said his politics lack that good will.

"I think he's really more concerned with playing partisan politics, and the chaos in Washington is something that he enjoys," Cooke said. "But that's not what we need here in this district. We need more common sense solutions and people who want to roll their sleeves up and get to work."

As new Democratic candidates have entered this race, Van Orden has dismissed many of them as "Pelosi-approved rubber stamps for her radical agenda" refusing to name them in press releases.

Cooke responded to that idea by saying Van Orden wants to pigeonhole candidates into ideological spaces, but that she is running in her own lane, and is in it to represent the people of western Wisconsin.

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