Sean Duffy shares the same birthday as the powerful Wisconsin Democratic congressman that he’s challenging this November, but horoscopes aside, you aren’t going to find much else that’s the same.
“The bottom line is he landed in Washington before we landed on the moon,” Duffy, a Republican, said of Rep. Dave Obey, who has been in Congress since 1969 and is now chairman of the coveted House appropriations committee.
Over hot wings and mixed drinks at a Capitol Hill bar, Duffy continued to jab his opponent. “He was a congressman during Woodstock.”
Duffy, 38, wasn’t even alive when Jimi Hendrix and Ravi Shankar descended on upstate New York. In fact, he hadn’t even been born when Obey took office.
Here’s the skinny: Duffy’s a three-time world Lumberjack champion. He spent 1997 as a houseguest on MTV’s “Real World Boston.” He married a fellow reality TV star he met on another MTV show and had five children with her (a sixth is on the way). He was appointed Ashland County’s district attorney and has won re-election since. And now he’s raised more money than any recent Obey challenger with the help of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who endorsed him via Facebook and encouraged her supporters to throw some dollars his way.
“People aren’t concerned about a reality show from 15 years ago,” he said when asked what role his television experience plays in the race, claiming those in his district rarely mention it.
He’s not playing it up at all either. “I think its something people will try to use against me,” he said.
Still, sitting in the back of the bar, he was interrupted when talking about how in this time of economic hardship, he has a shot of winning because he “truly represents Wisconsin” and his opponent is one of the chief authors of the stimulus package. Two young women who recognized him came over to his table and asked if they could snap a photo of him.