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MADISON, Wis. — Mitch McConnell’s top recruit, Mike Gallagher, passing on running for Senate has put Republicans’ recruitment woes and impending messy primary on full display. 

Check out the latest: 

Former Milwaukee County Sheriff and leading prospective GOP Senate candidate David Clarke was thrilled about the news.

  • David Clarke @SheriffClarke: This poll has to give the RNC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee sleepless nights when somebody outside their establishment circle wipes away these other GOP potential primary candidates. None of them energizes or excites the base voter like I do.
  • David Clarke @SheriffClarke: Wisconsin Congressman Mike Gallagher just announced today that he is not going to seek the GOP nomination for US Senate against Tammy Baldwin. He no doubt saw this poll released a day earlier. Smart move. 
  • David Clarke @SheriffClarke: We The People Need Fighters. REAL fighters.

The Messenger: Wisconsin Republicans Lose Their Best Shot at Defeating Tammy Baldwin

Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher announced Friday that he would not run for the Senate seat held by Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, leaving Republicans without their top recruit in a critical race.


Politico: Republicans fail to get top recruit for Wisconsin Senate

“A top potential recruit in Wisconsin’s Senate race declined to run — despite a concerted campaign from national Republicans to lure him into the race.

His decision is a blow to top Senate GOP strategists who saw him as their best shot to block Baldwin from a third term.”


CNN: Wisconsin GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher won’t run for Senate in major blow to Republicans

“Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, whom national Republicans had tried to recruit, announced Friday he will seek reelection in the House instead. The Wisconsin congressman’s announcement is a blow to Senate Republicans who had hoped Gallagher could flip the pivotal US Senate seat.”


Daily Caller: In Blow To GOP, Rep. Mike Gallagher Decides Against Senate Run

“Republican Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher will not challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2024, dealing a major blow to the GOP’s candidate recruitment efforts.”

The Jay Weber Show: Interview with Rep. Mike Gallagher

“This was the name though, that a lot of people were invested in in terms of best opportunity to take down Tammy Baldwin. Mike Gallagher is not only popular in his part of the state, he’s popular in Washington DC. He’s been a rising star of the party. And he mentioned Senator Daines, Steve Daines is the head. He’s the guy that Mitch McConnell has put in charge of recruitment for 2024.”


Washington Examiner: Gallagher passes on 2024 Wisconsin Senate run in blow to GOP hopes to flip seat

“Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) announced on Friday that he’ll seek reelection in the House of Representatives rather than challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in 2024, a blow to Senate Republicans who had hoped the Wisconsin congressman could flip the seat.”


Roll Call: Wooed by GOP, Gallagher decides against Wisconsin Senate run

“Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher said he will not seek to challenge Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin next year, but will seek reelection to the House to continue work on a select committee he chairs focused on China.”


“‘It’s obviously disappointing, but it would have been political malpractice not to try to recruit Mike Gallagher. We will have a strong candidate in Wisconsin,’ Tate Mitchell, an NRSC spokesman, said in a statement.”


MSNBC: Friday’s Campaign Round-Up, 6.9.23

“In Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race, Republican officials practically begged Rep. Mike Gallagher to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin next year. This morning, the GOP congressman said he’ll run for re-election to the House instead.”


The Hill: GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher won’t run for Wisconsin Senate seat

“Republicans had been pushing for Gallagher to jump in the race against the three-term Democratic senator and his decision leaves the field wide open.”


AP: Republican Rep. Gallagher won’t run for US Senate in Wisconsin, leaving open field

“Wisconsin Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher announced Friday that he won’t run for U.S. Senate in 2024 against Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, leaving an open GOP field with no declared candidates in the battleground state. Gallagher was the highest profile Republican said to be considering a run against Baldwin, who is seeking a third term after an 11-point win in 2018.”


“Others considering a Senate run are Madison businessman Eric Hovde, who lost in a Republican primary for Senate in 2018, Franklin businessman Scott Mayer and former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a staunch Trump supporter who backed false claims of fraud after the 2020 election. Clarke tweeted Friday in response to Gallagher’s news that none of the Republicans considering a run “energizes or excites the base voter like I do.”


Axios: GOP Rep. Gallagher passes on Wisconsin Senate bid

“Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) said Friday he will run for reelection to the House rather than challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) in 2024. Why it matters:  The decision denies Senate Republicans a top recruit in what they see as one of their best opportunities of the cycle to pick up a seat in the closely divided chamber. ‘It’s obviously disappointing, but it would have been political malpractice not to try to recruit Mike Gallagher,’ National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesperson Tate Mitchell told Axios in a statement.” 


Manu Raju, CNN, @mkraju: Rep. Mike Gallagher, who had been recruited by national Republicans eager for him to run against Sen. Tammy Baldwin, announces he will run for re-election in the House. The announcement is a blow to Senate Republicans who had hoped that Gallagher could flip #wisen seat 

Jessica Taylor, Cook Political Report, @JessicaTaylor: As I wrote last week, Republicans have had a spate of good recruitment news, but this is a blow in #WISen. I always felt like getting Gallagher to run was still a long shot 

Sahil Kapur, NBC, @sahilkapur: Rep. Mike Gallagher (R) says NO to challenging Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D): “I will not run for the Senate in 2024 and will pursue re-election to the House.”

Matt Holt, The Messenger @mattholt33: New: WI GOP loses their best shot at defeating Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) after Rep. Mike Gallagher (R) passes on a Senate bid. He was heavily recruited by the NRSC.

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