U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, whose district includes all of St. Croix County, will resign his post next month.
The Hayward Republican made the announcement in a Monday, Aug. 26, Facebook post. He will resign effective Sept. 23.
Complications with his wife’s pregnancy spurred the decision, Duffy said. The unborn child — due in October — faces a heart condition, among the complications his wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy, is experiencing.
“With much prayer, I have decided that this is the right time for me to take a break from public service in order to be the support my wife, baby and family need right now,” Duffy wrote. “It is not an easy decision – because I truly love being your Congressman – but it is the right decision for my family, which is my first love and responsibility.”
The couple have eight children.
Duffy was first elected to the 7th Congressional District in 2010 after former Democratic Congressman Dave Obey announced he would not seek re-election. Obey had held the seat since 1969.
The Constitution calls for vacancies from resignations that occur during Congress’ first session to be filled through a special election. A spokeswoman for Tony Evers said the Democratic governor will be calling for a special session and that the administration is reviewing statutory requirements surrounding the timeline.
Duffy’s announcement prompted comments from Republicans and Democrats in Wisconsin.
“Family responsibilities should always come first, and I fully understand and respect Sean’s decision to devote his full time and attention to his family,” U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said in a statement.
State Sen. Patty Schachtner, D-Somerset, said that as a mother and a grandmother “my heart is with” Duffy and his wife.
Rep. Rob Stafsholt, R-New Richmond, also offered support for Duffy's service to the district.
"It's a shame to see him go, but we are extremely lucky to have a guy like Sean as our voice in Washington," Stafsholt said in a statement. "We have big shoes to fill. I wish Sean and his family well wishes as they transition into whatever lies on their horizon, and most importantly for a healthy and happy addition to their family."
“The health and happiness of our children is our most important pursuit and I wish the Duffy family well in this difficult time,” she said in a news release.
State Sen. Tom Tiffany’s name was circulated among Republicans likely considering a run. The Minocqua resident who hails from Elmwood did not return a call Monday seeking comment.
St. Croix County Democrats Co-chair Tammy Moothedan said no names had emerged so far among Democrats, though she expected that to change soon.
“There's a lot of good candidates in the district and we will be preparing and be ready to win that seat for the special election,”
Asked if she would consider a bid for Duffy’s seat, Schachtner said she is focused on her state Senate district. State Rep. Shannon Zimmerman, a River Falls Republican who serves on the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, said he would not be seeking to run in a special congressional election.
Former Assembly Member Adam Jarchow, a Balsam Lake Republican, said he would only consider a bid if “I don’t see a candidate emerge who has the chops to go to D.C. and vigorously fight the Swamp.”