Wisconsin Democratic leaders are reportedly pinning their hopes on state Senator Julie Lassa of Stevens Point to replace congressional icon David Obey. Lassa announced her bid Monday for the north central Wisconsin district. That was after party leaders spent last weekend figuring out the best way to keep the seat after Obey’s surprise decision that he’ll step down.
Wispolitics.com is reporting Obey himself met with several state lawmakers and others, with the consensus appearing to be the 39-year-old Lassa. She served in the Assembly from 1998-through-’02, and has been in the Senate ever since winning a special election in 2003. In this past term, she chaired the Senate Economic Development Committee where she created the CORE Jobs Bill. Lassa joined Governor Doyle Monday as he signed the bill into law.
State Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker was among those considering a run for Obey’s seat. But he decided to stay where he is, and try to keep Democrats in control of the Senate in this fall’s elections. Unlike others, Lassa would not have to give up her Senate seat if she loses for Congress since she’s in the middle of her four-year term.
Republican candidate Sean Duffy welcomed her to the race, but others in the GOP came out swinging. State Republican Party Chair Reince Priebus said,“It appears the Democrat campaign-machine is alive and well in Northern Wisconsin as Dave Obey is set to anoint his hand-picked successor in the 7th Congressional District.”
Former State Senator Kevin Shibilski and Assembly Democrat Lou Molepske of Stevens Point are reportedly considering their own candidacies. They could run against Lassa in a September primary.