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Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Rep. Mark Pocan addresses College Democrats, talks November midterm, capitol insurrection

Pocan is running for reelection in Congressional District 2, which includes UW campus
Sophia Scolman
Mark Pocan speaks at College Democrat meeting

The University of Wisconsin College Democrats hosted Representative Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) from Congressional District 2 Tuesday during his campaign for reelection in the Nov. 8 midterm election. 

Pocan, who graduated from UW in 1986, said the Republican party doesn’t have any big picture initiatives heading into the midterm aside from criminalizing abortion, while Democrats are actively working towards marijuana legalization, climate justice and social equality.

The American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Chips Act and the Inflation Adjustment Act each could have been the largest bill to pass during his career, so Pocan said all of them passing within two years is testament to the dedication of the Democratic party.


But, the hardest part of drawing out apathetic voters, especially “surge voters” — people who vote Democrat but don’t always make it to the polls — is convincing them their vote creates change, Pocan said.

“We have to get people to understand that Democrats did something for them,” Pocan said.

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On the gubernatorial race, Pocan said since candidate Tim Michels only lives in Wisconsin for half the year, he shouldn’t be elected. And, if Michels is elected, election protocols will be decided by the legislature rather than the nonpartisan election commission, Pocan said.

“If Gov. Evers isn’t reelected … no Democrat will win fairly in Wisconsin ever again for the White House,” Pocan said.

Pocan also vouched for senatorial candidate Mandela Barnes (D-Wis.), who is running against incumbent Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). Mandela Barnes will be one of the youngest U.S. senators if elected, Pocan said. The average age of a senator in the U.S. is 64.

In addition, Pocan commented on the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

While the insurrection unfolded, government officials inside the building received most of their information from CNN and MSNBC rather than personal emails, Pocan, who was inside the Capitol at the time, said.

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Looking past the midterm, Pocan said if a progressive Supreme Court judge were to be elected in April, Wisconsin would be able to use the Assembly districting map created by Gov. Evers that was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in March.

According to Pocan, most people in Wisconsin support Democratic values like abortion access, marriage equality, climate justice, marijuana legalization and universal health care.

“The problem is Republicans are very good at manipulating some of the issues — knowing the little buzz phrases,” Pocan said.

The next College Democrats event will be a live watch party of the Senate debate in collaboration with the College Republicans and the Election Research Center Oct. 13.

Editor’s note: This article was updated to reflect Pocan’s standing as the representative for Congressional District 2.

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