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Next steps after Representative Sean Duffy’s resignation

Wisconsin (WQOW) – Representative Sean Duffy’s sudden resignation opens up a U.S. House seat in one of Wisconsin’s key districts. So what happens next?  Who will run to lead the 7th Congressional District?

News 18 spoke with a political expert about the upcoming special election.

That special election is needed after Sean Duffy announced he would be resigning from Congress on September 23 due to health complications with the baby he and his wife are expecting in October.

It is up to Governor Tony Evers to call the special election, and the governor says he is waiting for a recommendation from his legal team before setting an election date.

Here’s some background.

District 7 is a huge area encompassing more than 20 counties.

Duffy, who is a Republican, has held the seat since 2011.

Duffy’s predecessor, Democratic Representative Dave Obey, served for 15 terms.

A UW-Eau Claire political expert says the district could flip back to Democrats depending on the timing of the election.

“If the governor decides for example to have the election on the same day as the Democratic presidential primary, that’ll probably jump up Democratic turnout whereas President Trump probably won’t have much of a primary challenge, if any, by April,” said Geoff Peterson, the chair of the political science department at UW-Eau Claire. “So Republican turnout might be lower, so it’s possible it [the district] can be flipped.”

News 18 spoke with several people who say they are exploring the idea of running to replace Duffy.

Those names include Republicans; Senator Tom Tiffany, Representative Romaine Quinn, and former Representative Adam Jarchow.

Democratic Representative Nick Milroy and former State Senator Pat Kreitlow also showed interest in the position.

At least five other candidates have expressed interest in a run to other media outlets as well.

Voters in District 7 supported Republican President Donald trump in 2016 after voting for former Democratic President Barack Obama in 2008.

Peterson says that theoretically makes it a competitive district, which could mean a lot of time, attention, and outside money invested in the special election.

Experts also say special elections tend to attract a lot of attention because they’re the only elections happening at that time.

Katrina Lim

Katrina Lim joined the News 18 team in August 2019 as a multimedia journalist. She was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey but has lived in all time zones of the contiguous U.S.A.

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