Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner draws challenger in Wisconsin’s 5th congressional district
MILWAUKEE — U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the longest-serving current member of the Wisconsin congressional delegation, has drawn a challenge this year from a political newcomer.
Democrat Khary Penebaker of Waukesha County is the president of a roofing company and an advocate for tougher gun control measures after his mother shot and killed herself when Penebaker was a child.
Since he was first elected in 1978, Sensenbrenner has coasted to re-election — often with 65 percent of the vote or more — and Penebaker faces a significant uphill climb this year.
“He’s been there so long that he doesn’t have to work anymore for his election,” Penebaker said. “He rarely campaigns. He rarely gets out there and exchanges with people. You’ve got a guy there who feels almost entitled to his position, and I feel that’s wrong.”
Penebaker said he couldn’t say how long he’d want to serve if elected.
On the day Penebaker announced his bid, Sensenbrenner’s office touted the longtime congressman’s perfect voting record in 2015. Sensenbrenner didn’t miss a vote that year, according to a study released by CQ Weekly.
“I’m proud of my thoughtful and consistent voting record, as well as my dedicated service to the people of Wisconsin’s Fifth Congressional District, and will continue working diligently on behalf of my constituents as long as I serve in the U.S. House,” Sensenbrenner said in a statement.