I’m sure it seemed like a smart idea for the State Senate Democrats at the time
Steve Prestegard at the Marketplace of Ideas blog mentions another interesting fact about Tuesday night’s election:
When Kurt Schuller of Eden decided to run for state treasurer against underqualified incumbent Dawn Marie Sass, campaigning on eliminating the office he was running for, that seemed as likely to be successful as, say, a Republican replacing the retiring U.S. Rep. David Obey (D–Wausau). Which brings up this irony: When Obey announced his retirement, speculation on which Democrats might run to replace Obey included Decker and Sens. Julie Lassa (D–Stevens Point), and Pat Kreitlow (D–Chippewa Falls). Ultimately, Lassa ran, and lost to Republican Sean Duffy. On the other hand, Decker and Kreitlow also lost their state Senate reelection bids.
Part of the reason Lassa got picked is that she wasn’t up for re-election, so she could have a safe shot at Congress, while Decker and Kreitlow wouldn’t have to give up their seats to run. It worked real well. Lassa is still a state senator.
Congressman-elect Sean Duffy goes down in history as the first Republican candidate to defeat four Democrats at once.