MADISON — The 25-year-old
son of former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has decided
against a run for Congress.
Matt Walker posted on
Twitter Monday that he would not run to replace retiring
Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner in Wisconsin's 5th
Congressional District. Walker has never run for office
and he was among several Republicans eyeing the seat in
the deeply Republican district.
Walker says after praying
and talking with community members, friends, family, he's
decided to focus on his work and community involvement to
support the area. The district covers northern and western
Republican state Senate
Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is the only announced
candidate on the GOP side, but many others are still
weighing a run next year. That includes state Sen. Chris
Kapenga, Matt Neumann, the son of a former congressman,
and former U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson.
Evers to move date of
Wisconsin's special congressional vote
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers
plans to change the date of the special election for an
open congressional seat because he was told by the U.S.
Department of Justice that the dates he set last week
violated federal law.
The original dates set by Evers, a Democrat, avoided
potentially boosting GOP turnout in a state Supreme
Court election set for April 7. The congressional seat
is in a heavily Republican district that President Trump
won by 20 points in 2016.
But now, Evers is considering holding the special
congressional election primary on the same day in
February as the primary in the Supreme Court race. He's
also considering holding the general election on the
same day in April, his spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff,
Having the special congressional election in the strong
Republican district on the same day as the Supreme Court
election could be a boost to incumbent Justice Dan
Kelly, part of the 5-2 conservative majority who is
running for a full 10-year term next year.
The special election is to replace Republican Sean
Duffy, who resigned on Sept. 23. That day, Evers set the
special election for Jan. 27, with the primary scheduled
for Dec. 30 — far before the Supreme Court election
Those dates were in compliance with state law, which
requires special election primaries to be 28 days before
the general election. But they conflict with federal
law, which requires a 45-day gap to allow time for
military and overseas voters to receive ballots.
That conflict created an "impossible situation,"
Baldauff said. Evers is in consultation with both the
state and federal departments of justice to set the new
special election dates, she said.
"We want to announce something as soon as we can," she
said. "We just want to make sure there won't be any
additional confusion for municipal workers, the voters
and the candidates."
Evers is considering two different scenarios, both of
which would move the general election to April or May.
Under one, the general election would be held on the
April 7, the same day as the state's presidential
primary and state Supreme Court election. The primary
for the special election would be Feb. 4, two weeks
before the primary for the Supreme Court race and a host
of local offices.
Under the other scenario, the primary would be Feb. 18,
which is the date of the primary for the state Supreme
Court race. The general election for the special
congressional election would then be May 5.
Evers can't align the special election with the same
primary and general election dates as the regularly
scheduled state spring elections because of timelines in
federal law for certifying the results and having
ballots available, Baldauff said.
The Wisconsin Legislature in 2011 changed the date of
the state's primary for fall elections from September to
August to be in compliance with the 2009 federal law
giving military and overseas voters more time to vote.
But the Legislature did not change the law relative to
special elections, creating the conflict for this race.
This is the first time the issue has come up in
Wisconsin since the federal law changed in 2009.
On Friday, the state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos asked
Evers to change the election dates because the Dec. 30
primary would fall on the final day of Hanukkah.
Baldauff said the decision to change the dates had
nothing to do with the Vos request.
Three Republicans have announced their candidacies in
the heavily GOP district that covers central, northern
and northwestern Wisconsin. They are Tom Tiffany, a
state senator from Minocqua, Jason Church, an Army
veteran who lost both his legs in Afghanistan and worked
as an aide to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, and Michael Opela
Sr., who lives on a hobby farm in Edgar.
Church said in a statement that "Evers' political
motivations have resulted in chaos and uncertainty for
Tiffany said in a statement that "it is imperative that
all military and overseas voters have the opportunity to
vote" and he's prepared to win no matter the election
date. Opela did not immediately respond to a request for