Republican Duffy won’t challenge Baldwin in 2018

Democrat says GOP primary to be a 'circus'
Republican Duffy won’t challenge Baldwin in 2018
Rep. Sean Duffy

Wisconsin Republican U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy says he won’t challenge Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2018, clearing the way for other Republicans who had been waiting for his decision to get in the race.

Duffy announced Thursday that he decided against challenging Baldwin, who will be up for re-election for the first time next year. Duffy is in his fourth term representing northern Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District.

Duffy said in a statement that “this is not the right time for me to run for Senate.” He and his wife have eight children and Duffy says “family always comes first.”

Numerous other Republicans have been considering the race, including state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Madison businessman Eric Hovde.

Former Marine and former Democrat Kevin Nicholson issued a statement Thursday saying he is “strongly considering” a run for the spot next year.

Democratic Party spokeswoman Gillian Drummond said “the Republican establishment in Washington is scrambling to avoid a divisive, messy Republican primary in Wisconsin.”

“No matter what circus emerges, Tammy Baldwin will continue to stand up to the powerful interests in Washington and fight for a Wisconsin economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top,” Drummond added.