United States

Gallagher’s retirement opens competitive race for Congress in Wisconsin

(The Center Square) – Voters in northeast Wisconsin will likely be seeing more political ads in the next few months.

Current Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher on Saturday shocked the state and announced he is stepping down at the end of his current term.

“The framers intended citizens to serve in Congress for a season and then return to their private lives. Electoral politics was never supposed to be a career and trust me Congress is no place to grow old. And so, with a heavy heart, I have decided not to run for re-election,” Gallagher said in a statement.

His decision not to run touched off a weekend scramble to jump into the race to replace him.

Former State Sen. Roger Roth was the first to enter.

“As a lifelong resident of Northeast Wisconsin, I am ready to fight back against President Joe Biden’s dangerous open border, disastrous economy, and weak foreign policy that has put Americans at risk, both at home and abroad,” Roth said in a statement of his own. “Now is a time for bold, new leadership to restore the America we love. We must solidify our border and strengthen our national security, our economy, and our traditional values. Our federal government is failing.”

Roth ran for Congress in 2010 but finished second in a three-way primary. He most recently ran for lieutenant governor in 2022 and lost.

Alex Bruesewitz announced on social media last week that he was “seriously looking” to run against Gallagher after Gallagher voted against impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

He said he intends to meet with county leaders over the next few weeks to talk about the race.

“The people of #WI8 deserves a fighter who will help secure the southern border and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” he posted on social media. “Good riddance to Mike Gallagher and God bless Wisconsin AND America.”

WisPolitics is also reporting Sen. Andre Jacque, R-DePere, may also get into the race.

Democrats in the state are not saying much about their plans to run someone against Gallagher’s replacement.

“Speaker Johnson and the House GOP are mired in chaos and dysfunction, and Mike Gallagher calling it quits is about as stark an indictment of Republicans’ inability to govern as you can get. Wisconsin Democrats look forward to competing in the 8th and bringing some stability and competence back to the House,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Joe Oslund said in a statement.

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