Republican Congressman Sean Duffy is leaving office

Republican Congressman Sean Duffy is leaving office

MADISON – U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy said Monday he will be leaving Congress in September.

Duffy, who has represented Wisconsin’s 7th congressional district since 2011, said in a Facebook post needs to step down in order to devote more time to a baby he and his wife are expecting in October that has a heart condition.

“I will miss being your Congressman, but I am also looking forward to having more time with my family, being home for more birthdays and hockey games, and having time to enjoy and care for our new baby girl, who is already so loved by our family,” he wrote in a Facebook post. 

Duffy is just the latest in an array of Republicans who announced they would be leaving Congress, including a number in Texas. 

Reps. William Hurd, Mike Conaway and Pete Olson —all Republicans from the Lone Star State— recently announced they would not run again to keep their House seats. 

Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., and Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind. — two of the 13 Republican women in the House — also announced they wouldn’t run in 2020. Brooks, who heads GOP recruitment in the House and aimed to persuade more women to run, announced her decision in an exclusive interview with USA TODAY. 

The growing number of Republican retirements could help Democrats keep control of the House in 2020, but Duffy’s seat isn’t as vulnerable as some of the others.

More: 7th Republican representative in two weeks says he won’t run for re-election

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will have to call a special election to fill Duffy’s seat. Evers’ office is reviewing potential dates for an election. 

Whoever wins would have to quickly run again because Duffy’s seat will be on the ballot in November of 2020. 

Duffy’s district in northern Wisconsin was once a true swing seat in Congress. His predecessor, U.S. Rep. Dave Obey, was a Democrat.

The district was made more Republican in 2011 by GOP redistricting, and has also shifted right as rural areas continue to tilt toward Republicans. 

President Donald Trump carried the district by 20.3 points in 2016 — the biggest margin in Wisconsin. In 2012, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney carried it by three points.

Duffy, who first became widely known on the MTV reality series “The Real World,” has maintained a high profile through appearances on Fox News and conservative media outlets up until very recently. 

Patrick Marley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.

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