The head of the state Democratic Party is confident they’ll be able to hold onto Congressman Dave Obey’s seat. Obey’s announcement Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in the 7th Congressional District leaves the field wide open and the seat vacant for the first time in over 40 years.
Republican Sean Duffy is the only prominent candidate running right now, although State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate says that won’t be the case for very long.
Tate says he expects a strong candidate to step forward within the next 10 days, and he believes there are many people out there who could enter the race and easily win. Several of those potential nominees are in the state Legislature right now, such as Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Wausau) and Assembly Assistant Majority Leader Donna Seidel (D-Wausau). Tate says Wausau attorney Christine Bremer would also make a good strong Democratic candidate.
Even with a wide range of possibilities, Tate says he doesn’t expect there to be a contested primary for the Democratic nomination. He says the contenders could likely get together and decide amongst themselves who the strongest candidate may be. However, Tate admits that’s not a guarantee.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (:55)