Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, formally launched his bid for the 5th CD today, touting his work on conservative priorities such as 2011’s Act 10, right-to-work and anti-abortion legislation.
“I haven’t just talked about conservative principles. I’ve lived them, and I’ve helped to make them a reality here in Wisconsin,” said Fitzgerald, who’s spent two dozen years in the state Legislature.
Fitzgerald is the first Republican to formally announce plans to seek the party’s nomination to replace longtime GOP U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, though a source told WisPolitics.com last week that state Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, plans to run.
Fitzgerald, 55, a former lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, was a newspaper publisher before he was elected to the Senate in 1994. He’s led the Senate GOP caucus for the past dozen years.
He also was a vocal backer of Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election, telling fellow Republicans “We’re on the Trump train now” as some hesitated to back the businessman after he lost Wisconsin’s presidential primary.
Fitzgerald praised the president in his announcement for making “tremendous strides in fixing the D.C. dysfunction, but he needs more help. In Wisconsin, we know how to fix broken government and put taxpayers back in charge.”
Other Republicans looking at a bid include: Matt Neumann, son of former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann; state Rep. Adam Neylon; former U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson; Ben Voelkel, an aide to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson; and Matt Walker, son of former Gov. Scott Walker.
Dem Tom Palzewicz, who lost to Sensenbrenner with 38 percent of the vote in 2018, plans to run again.