Gov. Tony Evers on Monday called for a special election in January to fill the vacancy in northern Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District. The announcement came the same day U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston, resigned the position.
“Our rural communities have been directly affected by unproductive trade wars, political attacks on health care and public education, and economic uncertainty because of the volatility we’re seeing in Washington, D.C.,” Evers said in a statement announcing the Jan. 27 special election. “The people of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District deserve to have a voice in Congress, which is why I am calling for a special election to occur quickly to ensure the people of the 7th Congressional District have representation as soon as possible.
As governor, Evers can order a special election once a congressional seat becomes vacant. If a primary is required, it will be held Dec. 30.
Never mind that this creates all sorts of unnecessary expenses for the taxpayers to hold a special election. Never mind that the normal primary election day of February 18th is only three weeks later. Never mind that it’s weird to have an election on a Monday. In a district that is fairly strongly Republican, Evers picked a date that would give the Democrats the best chance possible by depressing turnout. Also, it has the added benefit of not boosting Republican turnout during the April election for Supreme Court by putting something else for Republicans to vote for on the ballot.
As I said before, it’s the governor’s prerogative, but let’s not pretend that he’s doing anything other than leveraging his constitutional duty in a way to benefit his party.