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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Wisconsin GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher Opts Out of Reelection Bid

PoliticsWisconsin GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher Opts Out of Reelection Bid

In a significant development for the House GOP, Wisconsin Representative Mike Gallagher announced on Saturday that he will not seek reelection, adding to a string of Republican departures from Congress ahead of the November elections.

Facing Criticism Over Impeachment Vote

Gallagher’s decision comes amidst mounting criticism within his party for his vote against impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Some influential Republican figures have even threatened to mount a primary challenge against him.

Mike Gallagher’s Statement

In a statement, Gallagher remarked, “Electoral politics was never supposed to be a career and, trust me, Congress is no place to grow old.” He expressed a heavy heart in deciding not to pursue reelection.

Stance on Impeachment and Leadership Criticism

Despite facing backlash, Mike Gallagher has stood by his choice to vote against impeaching Mayorkas. He has also criticized House GOP leadership for scheduling the consequential vote without assurance of its success. Another impeachment vote on Mayorkas is anticipated next week upon Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s return from cancer treatments.

A Reversal from Previous Plans

Saturday’s announcement marks a reversal for Gallagher, 39, who had previously announced his intention to seek reelection to Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District. Last year, he had opted against a Senate run, disappointing Republicans who saw potential for a crucial Senate seat flip in the battleground state.

Gallagher’s Political Background

First elected in 2016, Gallagher comfortably secured his fourth term in 2022, winning over 72% of the vote. The 8th Congressional District, encompassing Green Bay, has historically leaned Republican. In the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump carried the district over Joe Biden by about 15 points.

Committee Work and Departure Trends

Gallagher chairs the House Select Committee on China, known for its bipartisan efforts. His departure adds to a trend of committee chairs stepping down, following House Energy and Commerce Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ announcement of non-reelection.

Growing Exodus from Congress

More than a dozen House Republicans have declared they will not seek reelection. Currently, House Republicans control 219 seats to Democrats’ 212, with four vacancies. Democrats need a net gain of five seats to secure control of the House, potentially shrinking to four if they win former Rep. George Santos’ vacant New York seat in an upcoming special election.

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