By Abigail Bostwick | Contributing Writer
At least five candidates aim to compete for Wisconsin’s Congressional 7th District seat. The victor will fill the remainder of the term in the United States House of Representatives.
Incumbent Sean Duffy announced his resignation in September, as he and his wife’s coming child was to have a complicated heart condition from birth.
Gov. Tony Evers selected an election date for Jan. 27, 2020, with primaries narrowing the field Dec. 30, 2019. However, because the election is a conflict of state and federal laws, the governor had to choose new dates.
According to Wisconsin Public Radio the new dates are Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020 for the primary and Tuesday, May 12, 2020 for the general election.
Declared candidates on the Republican side to date include Jason Church, an Army veteran and former worker of the United States Senate; Michael Opela, Sr., a business man and farmer; and Tom Tiffany, current state senator for Wisconsin’s 12th Senate District.
Church, of Hudson, was awarded a Purple Heart after he lost his legs after a bomb explosion in combat serving in Afghanistan. He is a supporter of President Donald Trump, he noted online, but also a “political outsider.”
“(Trump)’s trying to secure our borders,” Church said in a video announcing his candidacy. “He’s trying to create jobs. But he needs help. He needs people who come from outside politics - people who don’t owe anything to anyone.”
Opera stated he is running for he 7th District because he wants to better listen to voters and enact what they most want to see, according to his press release. A former stock broker, chef and engineer, Opela currently runs a hobby farm in Edgar.
Tiffany, who has aligned himself with President Donald Trump, stated he is “…the ally (Donald Trump) needs to keep moving our country forward.” Tiffany hails from Hazlehurst.
On the Democratic side are Lawrence Dale, businessman and veteran and Tricia Zunker, Wausau School Board president and associate justice of the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court.
According to Dale’s press release, he wants to bring “…good-paying jobs to the 7th Congressional District.” Ideas outlined included a meat processing plant to the district as well as working towards universal healthcare, maintaining the area’s environmental areas and fighting climate change.
“I’m running because this is a critical time in our nation’s history,” Dale, Eagle River, said in his press release.
Zunker of Wausau has relayed she is the first Native American woman to run for Congress in the state of Wisconsin since 1992. She was the first from her family to graduate from college, her press release noted, and she currently practices law as an attorney and professor.
“Tricia champions strong public schools and prioritizes student mental health and teacher appreciation,” he press release said. “And as your Congresswoman, she will bring these values to Washington and fight for working people instead of the wealthy few.”