On your GOP congressional candidate scorecard, we have two candidates who are out and one, state Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Miocqua) who is almost certainly in.

State Sen. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) announced Monday that he is not going to seek the Republican nomination in the 5th Congressional District.

“I appreciate the inquiries and expressions of support regarding the 5th Congressional district seat. I will not be a candidate for the seat,” said Kooyenga. “The strength of our Republic does not flow from Washington D.C., but instead is rooted in families, local communities and ground-up leadership. I believe I can best serve my country by continuing to represent my district and conservative principles in the Wisconsin State Senate, serving in the US Army Reserve, by being active in the business community as a CPA, and most importantly being an engaged husband and father to my four children.”

Meanwhile in the 7th Congressional District, state Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) also says he can better serve his constituents by staying put.

So, the question is this – Can I make a greater difference representing my constituents in Washington? After giving it considerable thought and talking to other legislators, the answer is no. While I would relish the chance to overcome the constant gridlock in Washington D.C., I know that I will have a larger impact on the people I represent by continuing to serve in the State Senate.

So, in the interest of doing what’s right for my family and for being able to do more for my constituents, I have made the decision to not run for Congress and continue to serve as your State Senator.

Petrowski’s decision helps clear the way for Tiffany who will have a 7-stop two-day announcement tour in the 7th congressional district. For those of you who want to follow Tiffany like a Grateful Dead groupie, here is the schedule:

Tuesday, September 10th     
8:30 AM – Al-Gen Dinner Club
                      3428 N. Faust Lake Road
                      Rhinelander, WI 54501                
10:45 AM – Merrill Steel
                      900 Alderson Street
                      Schofield, WI 54476      
1:15 PM – Roth Sugar Bush
                      656 Tower Drive
                      Cadott, WI 54727       
4:30 PM – Valley Companies
                      721 1st Street
                      Hudson, WI 54016
 Wednesday, September 11th           
9:15 AM – Rice Lake Weighing Systems
                      230 W. Coleman Street
                      Rice Lake, WI 54868           
11:30 AM – Johnson Timber Corporation
                      9676 N. Kruger Road
                      Hayward, WI 54843           
2:00 PM – Superior Public Library
                      1503 Tower Avenue
                      Superior, WI 54880   

Other possible GOP candidates in the 7th Congressional District include: former Americans for Prosperity leader Luke Hilgemann; state Rep. Romaine Quinn (R-Barron) and retired Army officer Jason Church. Church currently works for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson as a regional director.

The next member of the House of Representatives from the 7th Congressional District will be chosen in a special election, dates to be determined. The election became necessary with the decision by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI07) to resign at the end of September due to health concerns concerning the birth of his next child. The winner of the special election will have to run again next November.

In the fifth congressional district, Republicans that are still considering entering the race include: Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), former state Sen. Leah Vukmir (the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in 2018), state Senator Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), state Rep. Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee), former U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson, Platform Digital President Matt Walker, Ben Voekel of Sen. Johnson’s staff, former state Sen. Rich Zipperer (currently Steil’s chief of staff), as well as a few others rumored to be considering entering the race.

The behind-the-scenes scramble in the 5th congressional district started with the announcement last week by long-time Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI05) that he will not seek re-election. Sensenbrenner’s successor will be chosen in the normal election cycle of an August primary and a November election in 2020.

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