U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble announced his decision not to seek reelection to the 8th Congressional District, which covers large areas of northeast Wisconsin.
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 past months, Rep. Ribble has been a vocal and frequent critic of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The unexpected announcement leaves many potential candidates preparing campaigns on both sides.
Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), co-chair of the powerful Joint Committee on Finance has expressed his interest in running for the open seat. Also on the Republican side, Chad Weininger, Brown County administration director and former GOP assemblyman, and State Senator Frank Lasee (R – De Pere) have announced they are considering a run.
Former state Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber has added her name to a growing list of potential Democratic candidates. Also publically considering a run is Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.
Those publically declining a run are Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton), Rep. Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay), Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), and former U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, the Democrat unseated by Ribble in 2010. Rep. Andrew Jacque (R-DePere) and Rep. John Macco (R-Ledgeview) have not yet announced their intentions.