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‘Let’s get to work:’ Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald announces run for Congress

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OCONOMOWOC — The race is on! There is now a Democrat and Republican candidate vying to succeed retiring Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner.

Scott Fitzgerald

Republican Scott Fitzgerald, a 25-year veteran of the Wisconsin Senate, declared his candidacy on Tuesday, Sept. 17. But he may not be the only Republican candidate for long.

"Send me to Washington and let's get to work," Fitzgerald told reporters at his announcement in Oconomowoc. "Washington is a mess and for too long, liberals and the elite have ignored the needs of the working-class people."

Fitzgerald said he will not step aside as the state Senate Majority leader during his Congressional campaign. His term in the state legislature is not up until 2022.

As a long-time supporter of President Donald Trump, Fitzgerald said he welcomes being on the ballot with the president next November. President Trump lost Wisconsin's primary in 2016 to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, but won the state's presidential election by 23,000 votes over Hillary Clinton.

Scott Fitzgerald

"I feel good about where we are in regards to Wisconsin's economy which continues to expand. But it's the federal government as well," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald will face Democrat Tom Palzewicz, the only other candidate to enter the race so far.

"The reason we are in the race this time is we think it's a pivotal point in our country. We need less divisiveness and more people who want to work together," Palzewicz said.

Palzewicz challenged Sensenbrenner in 2018 -- only gather 38 percent of the vote in the heavily Republican district. The small business owner said solving climate change is a top issue.

Tom Palzewicz

Fitzgerald said it is a topic that deserves "a lot more scrutiny."

"We really believe we need to get going. I personally believe it creates more jobs. It's good for the economy and good for the environment," Palzewicz said.

Both Palzewicz and Fitzgerald are expected to kick off their campaigns with big rallies in the coming weeks.

Other Republicans mulling a bid include former U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson; state Sen. Chris Kapenga; state Rep. Adam Neylon; Ben Voelkel, spokesman for Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson; and Vince Trovato, President Trump's first state director in 2016. Matt Walker, the son of the former governor, and Matt Neumann, the son of former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann, are also considering getting in the race.

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