Ron Kind was elected to the U.S. House in 1996, receiving 52 percent of the vote against Republican James Harsdorf. He was re-elected in 1998, defeating Republican Troy Brechler with 72 percent of the vote. He was re-elected in 2000 with 64 percent of the vote.
Kind considered seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in 2002, but decided against running for the office.
He won re-election to his congressional seat in 2002, defeating Republican Bill Arndt of Menomonie and Libertarian Jeff Zastrow of Eau Claire. Kind received 63 percent of the vote.