Empower Wisconsin | Oct. 21, 2019
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Thanks to Gov. Tony Evers’ “botched” political gambit, the 7th Congressional District will be without representation for nearly eight months, a Republican candidate for congress tells Empower Wisconsin.
“This is clearly a botched process,” state Sen. Tom Tiffany said Friday after Evers announced he was rescheduling the congressional district’s special election for May 12, with a primary on Feb. 18.
Tiffany is one of three Republicans that have announced they are running for the seat that has been vacant since Sept. 23, when U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Weston) announced he was leaving congress because of his child’s health concerns.
“For the governor to have said he was so anxious to get representation for people of the 7th Congressional and now to do the exact opposite and not have representation until May, it’s just absurd,” Tiffany said.
Republicans have blasted Evers for playing politics. The Democrat originally scheduled the special election for Jan. 27, with a Dec. 30 primary. Beyond taking the unprecedented step of scheduling the elections on Mondays, Evers’ plan would have put the primary in the middle of holiday seasons, when voters would be less likely to go to the polls.
The governor was forced to retreat when he learned that his schedule would violate federal election law regarding military and overseas voters.
In announcing the original schedule, the governor said he set the dates as early as possible so that the district would not be long without representation.
Tiffany and others called Evers out, accusing the governor of avoiding scheduling the special election for the same day as the April state Supreme Court election and presidential primary, a huge draw for voters.
“It’s really a poke in the eye to rural voters, to the people in northern and western Wisconsin. They are just pawns in a political game because the governor did not want to put that general election for the special on the April ballot,” Tiffany said.
The state senator added that this is a critical time in American history, and the 7th will be voiceless for nearly eight months.
“We’re going to go in to impeachment hearings, which, I will point out, are happening behind closed doors without due process for the president, and the 7th Congressional will not have representation,” Tiffany said.
The other Republican candidates include retired Army Captain Jason Church and Edgar resident Michael Opela Sr. Two Democrats, businessman and former Green Party congressional candidate Lawrence Dale and Tricia Zunker, associate justice of the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court and president of the
Wausau School Board, recently threw their hats in the ring.