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Rep. Duffy to Resign, Citing Family Needs

Updated: August 26, 2019 10:37 PM

Congressman Sean Duffy has announced plans to resign on Sept. 23.  The northwestern Wisconsin Republican announced his plans in a Facebook post on Monday morning.

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Duffy cited a desire to spend more time with his family.  He and his wife Rachel Campos-Duffy have eight children and are expecting their ninth child this fall.

"Recently, we’ve learned that our baby, due in late October, will need even more love, time, and attention due to complications, including a heart condition. With much prayer, I have decided that this is the right time for me to take a break from public service in order to be the support my wife, baby and family need right now. It is not an easy decision – because I truly love being your Congressman – but it is the right decision for my family, which is my first love and responsibility," Duffy wrote.

Duffy has been one of President Donald Trump's biggest backers in Wisconsin.

The 47-year-old, a Hayward native and former Ashland County District Attorney, won the 7th Congressional District seat when longtime Democratic Rep. Dave Obey retired in 2010.  He was re-elected four times.

Jim Miller, Chair of the 7th District Republican Party of Wisconsin, says he is confident even with Duffy's resignation that Republicans will still be able to control the district moving forward. 

"We've been able to, through our messaging and through the congressman's leadership, really have a good understanding of what our constituents are looking for, so while the Democrats are talking about issues that more relate to the coasts, we're talking about kitchen table issues. Bringing back good sustaining jobs, safety and security of our schools. Things of that nature," said Miller.

The 7th District is the largest district in Wisconsin and covers all, or part of, 20 counties, stretching from Superior to Wausau.  Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will have to call a special election to fill the vacancy.

"Next to marrying Rachel, representing you – the people and families of Wisconsin’s 7th District - in Congress has been the highest honor of my life, Duffy wrote.

"Together, we have engaged in the most important battles of our time: protecting freedom of speech and religious liberty, taking care of our veterans, defending the unborn, and saving American jobs and American capitalism," he said.

“For the past eight years, Sean Duffy has served the people of Wisconsin’s seventh congressional district with dedication, honor, and an interminable love for our State and its people. Sean has always been a great friend of the Party and an exceptional proponent of our conservative ideals. We are extremely grateful for his years of service and friendship. I, along with everyone at the Republican Party of Wisconsin, will be keeping Sean, Rachel, and the rest of the Duffy family in our thoughts and prayers as they make this difficult transition and prepare for the arrival of the newest member of their family,” Chairman Andrew Hitt of the Republican Party of Wisconsin said in a statement.

Before his career in politics, Duffy and his wife were both reality TV personalities and met through the MTV show "The Real World."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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