State Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, formally launched his campaign for the 7th CD today, vowing to be “the ally President Trump needs to keep moving our country forward.”

Meanwhile, a Wausau thoracic surgeon is now looking at a run, as is an aide to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh.

Tiffany said in a statement the president needs a “proven conservative with a track record of getting things done,” touting the “tough choices” he’s made in the Legislature, where he’s served since 2011.

“I don’t plan to go to Washington looking for a fight, but I can guarantee I will never back down from one,” Tiffany said.

Tiffany has four stops planned today in the district and another three tomorrow as he formally announces his bid. The first was the Al-Gen Dinner Club in Rhinelander, which is owned by GOP state Rep. Rob Swearingen.

Stephan Thompson, whose past campaigns include conservative Brian Hagedorn’s win in this spring’s state Supreme Court contest, will serve as Tiffany’s general consultant in the race.

Though Tiffany is the first candidate to formally get into the race, others are moving closer to bids.

Surgeon Fernando “Fritz” Riveron posted on social media that he is weighing a run, while a GOP source said Jason Church, an Army vet who serves as Johnson’s northwest region director, has been making calls to stakeholders in the district.

Riveron wrote in his post that he’s troubled by a “national dialogue on healthcare by people who don’t understand it at the ground level” and the “mainstream acceptance of socialism by many of our youth and its support by Democrats.” Riveron was born in Cuba, but left the country when he was 5.

“My life has been blessed by the opportunity and bounty of this great country,” he wrote. “The American dream has been a reality for me, and I deeply care that it be preserved for the next generation. I am prayerfully considering this daunting challenge and the opportunity to serve this community that has done so much for me and my family.”

Meanwhile, conservative activist Luke Hilgemann has decided against a bid, saying it was not the right time for a run and he will support Tiffany.

“Knowing that a proven conservative who won’t bend to Washington’s will like Tom Tiffany is running for the seat made my decision even easier,” Hilgemann said.

GOP state Rep. Romaine Quinn, who’s been weighing a bid for the past two weeks, said yesterday he wasn’t ready to make an announcement on whether he will get in.

Dems who have said they were considering a run include: state Sen. Janet Bewley, of Mason; Wausau attorney Christine Bremer Muggli; former state Sen. Pat Kreitlow, of Chippewa Falls; and state Rep. Nick Milroy, of South Range.

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston, has announced plans to resign Sept. 23. Gov. Tony Evers hasn’t said yet when he plans to call a special election.

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