There are two more candidates in the race to succeed retiring 6th District congressman Tom Petri. State Senator Joe Leibham, a Sheboygan Republican, made his official announcement Tuesday. And Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris is the first Democrat to enter the race, telling the Oshkosh Northwestern that he’ll run.
Leibham, 43, was first elected to the state Senate in 2002 following a term in the Assembly. He is the third Republican in the race. He’ll face a primary against fellow state Senator Glenn Grothman of West Bend and state Representative Duey Stroebel of Saukville. He made his announcement at his home in Sheboygan.
“The future of the nation we know and love is at risk and our federal government needs to be reformed. Just in the area of taxation alone, our national policies need to be reformed. Today, April 22, is Tax Freedom Day here in Wisconsin. What that means is that the average Wisconsin taxpayer has worked every day from Jan. 1 through today to pay off their tax burden. Tomorrow you finally get to keep the money you have worked hard to earn instead of sending it to the government.”
Harris, 58, would become the first Democrat to represent the district since Fond du Lac Democrat John Race defeated incumbent William Van Pelt in 1964. The district currently leans heavily Republican, but in an interview with Oshkosh Northwestern Media Harris said he’s a “fiscally conservative progressive,” who can bring together Democrats, moderate Republicans and centrists.