Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore easily won a fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday, despite seeing more Republican communities added to her 4th Congressional District this year.
Moore received 72 percent of the vote in her victory over two-time Republican challenger Dan Sebring, a former member of the Navy who now runs a car repair business in Milwaukee. With 92 percent of precincts reporting, Sebring had 25 percent of the vote.
"We have been through so much in the last two years," Moore said in her victory speech. "But we just dug in, clicked our jaws down like good Badgers and hung in there."
The 4th Congressional District previously covered the City of Milwaukee, and has historically been the most Democratic congressional district in Wisconsin. The district also included South Milwaukee, Cudahy and St. Francis, and part of West Allis.
In the past year, through redistricting, the district expanded north to include some more Republican-friendly North Shore communities like Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, Bayside, Glendale and Brown Deer. Those communities were previously represented by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner.
Sebring said he campaigned heavily in the North Shore, where a number of people were unaware they had been redistricted into Moore's district. After some optimism early in the night, Sebring said he "knew it was over when the Milwaukee votes started coming in."
"She took this race very lightly and for granted," Sebring said of Moore. "I hate to say it, but she feels entitled (to this position)."
Before she was elected to Congress in 2004, Moore was a Wisconsin state representative, state senator and civic activist. She was the first African-American elected to Congress in Wisconsin and the second woman. She currently serves on the Committee on the Budget, Committee on Financial Servicesas the Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Women's Caucus
Sebring has a colorful life story, having served in the Navy but also ending up homeless and sleeping in his car for a time during an economic recession in the 1980s. He has held jobs ranging from volunteer firefighter to disc jockey. In the Navy, he served on the Chief of Naval Operations Intelligence staff at the Pentagon.
"I am going to stay active in the Republican Party," he said. "I won't rule out another run for this race, but it's too early."
Independent Robert Raymond, a member of the Constitution Party and a law firm analyst from Shorewood, was also on the ballot. He has run unsuccessfully multiple times for U.S. House and Senate. He earned 3 percent of the vote.
Members of Congress serve two-year terms and earn $174,000 annually.
(Patch reporters Robert Weich, Sarah Worthman and Adam McCoy contributed to this report.)