Congressman Sean Duffy's surprise announcement that he will be leaving his office in September due to family concerns has opened the door for a presumed special election within a few months.
Tuesday, Republican State Senator Tom Tiffany of Minocqua hinted he was close to announcing his candidacy. A northern Wisconsin Senate Democrat says she's been encouraged to run but she loves her job, but hasn't closed the door.
Assistant Minority Leader in the the Senate, Janet Bewley of Bayfield county, was asked if she would run for the federal post. She says she's focused now on electing Democrats to the state legislature...
"...To shift my gaze to Congress is not impossible. It is not something I ever aspired to. My arc in the political realm never ended by running for Congress. When I was lucky enough to be elected to the Senate seat, I found a home where I really wanted to do good work..."
Bewley said she was in transit from her home to Madison on Monday after Duffy's announcement and said he received calls almost the entire way encouraging her to run...
"...To broaden my lens, to open it up to include looking at Congress isn't impossible; it just isn't what I had planned on doing. I'm listening to people, I'm hearing what they have to say. I'm not seeking it actively. I didn't go 'yahoo, now I can run for Congress' or anything..."
Bewley's large Senate district includes parts of Vilas and Price counties. She served in the state Assembly from 2011-2015 then was elected to the state Senate in 2015.
Governor Evers is likely to call a special election to fill Duffy's post. Neither Bewley or Tiffany would have to resign their positions with the state Senate to run for Congress.