Jarchow announces special election bid for Harsdorf's seat

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The first candidate to seek Sheila Harsdorf's soon-to-be-vacated state Senate seat emerged Friday.

Republican Adam Jarchow, a second-term Assembly member from Balsam Lake, announced his intention to run in a special election to fill Harsdorf’s District 10 Senate seat. Gov. Scott Walker earlier on Friday appointed Harsdorf to become secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Jarchow lauded his legislative accomplishments since being elected to the Assembly in 2014, saying he’s been a watchdog for taxpayers, gun owners, property owners and small business owners.

“I think it is important for our republic, our democracy, that when people run for office that they keep their promise,” he said in an interview, adding that his legislation aims to “get government out of the way.”

A campaign announcement lists fellow Republicans who have already lined up behind Jarchow, including Rep. Rob Stafsholt of New Richmond. Former lawmakers endorsing Jarchow include Dean Knudson of Hudson, John Murtha of Baldwin and Erik Severson of Osceola.

Harsdorf said earlier Friday that she won’t be endorsing a candidate in the special election.

Jarchow’s news release states the special election “will likely occur in the next couple months.”

The special election can’t be announced until Harsdorf leaves office, which will be official at the end of the day Friday. Walker will then announce the special election.

Rep. Shannon Zimmerman, R-River Falls, has also been noted as a possible candidate in the special election. He didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment. No Democrats had made public their intention to run as of midday Friday.