- Announced by US Rep. Mike Gallagher made his unexpected retirement from representing Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District, a staunchly Republican area.
- Just a few hours after Gallagher announced his retirement, former state Sen. Roger Roth, of Appleton, announced his candidacy.
- Other potential candidates, including Republican consultant Alex Bruesewitz and State Sen. Andre Jacque, thinking of joining the race.
The surprise retirement of a GOP congressman in a heavily Republican congressional district in Wisconsin has potential candidates weighing a run, though a former state lawmaker is jumping on the bandwagon. in the race.
Announced by US Rep. Mike Gallagher said Saturday that he will not run for a fifth term representing the 8th Congressional District in northeastern Wisconsin. The sudden move comes just days after he angered his fellow Republicans by refusing to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Just hours after Gallagher announced his retirement, former state Sen. Roger Roth, of Appleton, announced his candidacy on Saturday and endorsed Trump at the same time, something he did not do in his 2022 run for lieutenant governor.
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The district represented by Gallagher is solidly Republican. Considered a rising star in the Republican Party, the 39-year-old Gallagher has sometimes found himself at odds with former President Donald Trump and his supporters, most recently in Mayorkas vote.
Trump won the district by 16 points in 2020, although he lost the state by less than a point to President Joe Biden. Gallagher won reelection three times by less than 25 points. The district includes the cities of Appleton and Green Bay, Door County and covers mostly rural areas north through Marinette.
Roth served in the Legislature from 2007 to 2023 and was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 2022. He ran for Congress in 2010 but lost in the primary to eventual winner Reid Ribble.
Roth, in a statement Saturday, cast himself as a “proven conservative advocate” while calling for strengthening the border, national security, the economy and “our traditional values.”
While Roth was the first candidate to get in, he certainly won’t be the last.
Trump ally and Republican consultant Alex Bruesewitz, who said Gallagher “betrayed the Republican Party and the American people with his vote for Mayorkas,” is considering a run. He posted on X, then Twitter, a letter of support from the Oconto County Republican Party chair and said he looks forward to “spreading the MAGA message to the patriots of the Oconto GOP.”
Bruesewitz immediately gained the support of former Trump campaign consultant Roger Stone, who posted on social media that Bruesewitz “has the full support of the MAGA movement.”
Bruesewitz, 26, was born in Wisconsin but now lives in Florida. He must return to Wisconsin to run for the seat.
State Sen. Andre Jacque, of De Pere, also said he is considering running. Other current and former Republican members of the Legislature are expected to consider running.
Democrat Kristin Lyerly, a De Pere physician, previously said she was considering a run against Gallagher. The Democrats have not chosen a candidate in the 2022 election.
The Wisconsin Democratic Party said in a statement Saturday that it looks forward “to contesting the 8th and bringing some stability and competence back to the House.”
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Candidates have until June 1 to submit nomination papers for the August 13 primary.
The open seat will certainly fuel a competitive Republican primary, but the presidential race and not one for congressional seats will drive turnouts in November, said longtime conservative strategist Mark Graul who lives in the district. He did not expect the presidential race to have a big impact.
The race could be shaken up if the Wisconsin Supreme Court agrees to hear a redistricting case challenging congressional boundary lines. said Barry Burden, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin. The court did not say whether the challenge will be heard.
The state election commission said in a legislative districting case that any new lines must be set by March 15 to meet deadlines for candidates to run this November.