Brief

Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher won’t run for reelection

By: - February 12, 2024 4:30 am
U.S. Capitol in late afternoon

The U.S. Capitol on Jan. 2, 2024. (Jennifer Shutt | States Newsroom)

Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher announced over the weekend that he will not seek a fifth term in Congress. 

Gallagher, a former Marine from Green Bay, said in a statement about his decision not to run that when he first ran for Congress, he “promised to treat my time in office as a high-intensity deployment.” During his eight years in Congress, he has chaired the U.S. Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, chaired the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and worked on the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees.

U.S. Mike Gallagher (R-8th District)

“We’ve accomplished more on this deployment than I could have ever imagined,” Gallagher said. “But 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.” 

The decision comes after Gallagher faced backlash from fellow Republicans for voting against and helping block the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Gallagher’s departure from Congress will leave the heavily Republican-leaning seat representing northeast Wisconsin open. 

Soon after his announcement, former state Sen. Roger Roth said he plans to run for the seat. The Republican from Appleton, who ran for lieutenant governor in 2022, said in a statement that he is “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.” He added that he is “proud”  to support former President Donald Trump in his campaign for president.

“We must solidify our border and strengthen our national security, our economy, and our traditional values. Our federal government is failing us. It is our duty to preserve and protect our great nation now and for our future,” Roth said. 

Alex Bruesewitz, a Republican consultant and Trump ally, wrote on social media that he is “now taking a VERY STRONG LOOK” at running for the seat. 

State Sen. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere), who has served in the state Legislature since 2010, told WisPolitics that he is seriously considering running and that he is “humbled and very appreciative of the encouragement from so many people that have reached out.” 

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Joe Oslund said in a statement that House Republicans are “mired in chaos and dysfunction,” and Gallagher’s departure is “about as stark an indictment of Republicans’ inability to govern as you can get.” 

No Democrats ran against Gallagher in 2022. Oslund said that this year “Democrats look forward to competing in the 8th and bringing some stability and competence back to the House.” 

Green Bay OB/GYN Kristin Lyerly recently said that she hasn’t made a decision about whether she will run for the seat.

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Baylor Spears
Baylor Spears

Baylor Spears is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner. She’s previously written for the Minnesota Reformer and Washingtonian Magazine. A Tennessee-native, she graduated with a degree in journalism from Northwestern University in June 2022.

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