Dems Tricia Zunker and Lawrence Dale today announced they are running in the special election for the 7th CD.

Zunker is the president of the Wausau school board and an associate justice of the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court. She unveiled her candidacy at an event at the Dells of Eau Claire Park and touted her “Wisconsin roots.”

“I’m running for Congress to be a voice for the people of northwest Wisconsin – people like the family farmers and working people I come from,” she said.

Dale, meanwhile, resides in Ironwood, Michigan but said at a Capitol news conference this morning he plans to move to the 7th CD “before the election.” He described himself as a businessman and Vietnam veteran.

He said he is running because it’s a critical time in the nation’s history. He says he’ll focus on bringing good jobs to the northern Wisconsin district, promoting universal healthcare and fighting climate change.

“We must defeat the Trump Administration and its corruption at the polls in this special election and again in November and restore the strength of our democratic institutions,” he said.

Dale has twice run for public office in the past, garnering just over 1 percent of the vote as an independent in the 2014 race for the 7th CD and losing by 54 points in a 2016 Dem primary for the 34th Assembly District to Matthew Michalsen. Michalsen was defeated by roughly 26 points by Rep. Rob Swearingen, R-Rhinelander, in the general.  

A spokesman for his campaign said he announced his candidacy today outside of the 7th CD in Madison to “appeal to a bigger market.” 

On the GOP side the announced candidates are: Jason Church, an aide to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson; businessman Michael Opela; and state Sen. Tom Tiffany, of Hazelhurst.

Gov. Tony Evers has yet to announce new dates for the special election.

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