September 15th, 2010
12:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Real World star wins Wisconsin primary

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sean Duffy, a former Real World cast member, will win the Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District, the AP projects."]

(CNN) – Republican Sean Duffy, a former reality TV star, will win the GOP Congressional primary in Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District, the AP projects.

Duffy, who resigned from his fourth term as Ashland County district attorney this summer, appeared on "The Real World: Boston" in 1997.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed the Republican candidate – and two-time champion professional lumberjack athlete – in February, calling Duffy a "brave soul" and "northern Wisconsin patriot."

He now faces Democrat Julie Lassa in the general election. The winner will succeed long-time Democratic Congressman David Obey, who announced his retirement May 5.

Duffy, 38, announced his candidacy in the northwestern Wisconsin district last year, before the 71-year-old Obey announced his retirement. Duffy characterized Obey as a top-spending Washington insider and has called for fiscal conservatism.

A non-partisan handicapper, The Cook Political Report, rates the race for Obey's seat as a toss-up. The district has generally leaned left, and was carried by then-Sen. Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race with 56 percent of the vote. President Bush barely lost the district in 2004, with 49 percent of the vote compared to 50 percent for John Kerry.

Duffy had other turns in front of TV cameras. He appeared on another MTV reality show, 1998’s “Road Rules: All Stars,” which also featured his future wife, Rachel Campos, herself a cast member of 1994’s “The Real World: San. Francisco.” A lumberjack athlete, Duffy also was a commentator on ESPN’s “Great Outdoor Games.”

Another “Real World” alum didn’t fare as well Tuesday. Kevin Powell, part of the first “Real World” cast in 1992 in New York, lost his second bid to beat longtime Rep. Edolphus Towns in the Democratic primary in New York’s 10th Congressional District, in Brooklyn.

- CNN’s Jason Hanna and Robert Yoon contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • David Obey • Wisconsin
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Political Winds Are Blowing

    Hope and change is coming in 2010 and 2012.

    September 15, 2010 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Have Republican learned nothing from their celebrity choices?
    Regan has been the bright spot in an other dubious list.
    Elmo might make a good candidate for them in 2012!

    September 15, 2010 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  3. Marry

    CNN, what are Duffy’s plans? What are his stands? What did he ever do for the American people besides entertaining them on TV?
    His plan is a “Highway to hell!” for you! Only the rich benefit and YOU will pay for it! Inform yourself – and you will not vote against YOUR very own interests. Unless of cause, you belong to the 2% of Americans this plan is made for!
    Extreme and smart do not go well together. Don’t vote extreme, vote smart!

    September 15, 2010 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  4. Pragmatic

    adding a "former reality star" to the republican line-up – behind the CEO of the the world wrestling organization, the failed CEO of HP and a self-certified eye-doctor with a famous father ... add in for spice Rubio in FL (under investigation by the IRS) the NV state legislator who advocates prohibition as well as massages & saunas for prisoners while calling the unemployed spoiled.

    Wonder what their plans are for JOB CREATION, IMMIGRATION REFORM, SS REFORM and THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN ... more to governing than chanting "lower taxes & cut spending" ...

    September 15, 2010 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  5. vwrtb_30

    LOL! The next Ron raygun! You republicans always make me laugh!

    September 15, 2010 04:34 am at 4:34 am |