The Republican in the race for the state’s Sixth Congressional District will not get the incumbent’s support, but a political expert says it may not hurt him too badly.
Retiring Congressman Tom Petri (R-WI) told a Fond du Lac newspaper this week that will not be endorsing Sen. Glenn Grothman, after Grothman said at a recent fundraiser he would be “insulted” to be compared to Petri. Lawrence University political science professor Arnold Shober says that, along with Grothman initially challenging Petri to a primary before the long-time incumbent announced his retirement, has clearly created some friction between the two.
Petri went on to complement the Democrat in the race, Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, saying both candidates are qualified for the seat. Despite the kind words, Shober says that should not be seen as Petri endorsing Harris either. He says it was just an observation from a political moderate, although it could give Harris some “ammunition” against Grothman, allowing him to go the voters and point out that the Republican is not supported by the current office holder. Still, he says it’s by “no means a death knell” for Grothman’s campaign.
Shober says Grothman still has an advantage, because he’s running in a Republican-leaning district.