Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) has announced his plans to run for the 8th Congressional District in Northeast Wisconsin left open by U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble’s retirement.
Lasee served in the Wisconsin Assembly from 1994 to 2006 and was elected to the State Senate in 2010. In his campaign announcement, Lasee stated his focus is on national security, economic security and balancing the budget while paying down debt.
If elected, Lasee would succeed U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble. Elected to the House of Representatives in 2010, Ribble had previously announced he would not serve for longer than eight years, so a retirement announcement was not expected until 2018. Rep. Ribble cited his decision to retire as a desire to spend more time with his family and return to the private sector. Additionally, Rep. Ribble says he has accomplished his original goals of preserving many of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts and rolling back or holding steady federal discretionary spending. Over the past several months, Rep. Ribble has been a vocal and frequent critic of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
No other Republicans or Democrats have formally announced their campaigns to the open seat, although several have expressed their interest.
On the Republican side is Chad Weininger, Brown County administration director and former GOP assembly member, Rep. David Steffen (R- Green Bay) and Rep. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere).
On the Democratic side, former state Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber has added her name to a growing list of potential candidates. Also publically considering a run is Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.
Those declining a run include Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), co-chair of the powerful Joint Committee on Finance, Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton), Rep. Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay), Rep. John Macco (R-Ledgeview), Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), and former U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, the Democrat unseated by Ribble in 2010.
A primary election will be held August 9, while the general election will be November 8.