While no major names have yet publicly expressed interest in taking on Steil, Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan recently told WisPolitics he sees a way to win both 1st and 3rd, another district held by the GOP in the southwest corner of the state. Pocan, which represents the 2nd blue district safely right between the other two seats, listed several local elected officials he thinks he can carry out strong campaigns in the 1st:
Cory Mason, Mayor of Racine
former Racine Municipal Judge Rebecca Mason
State Representative Tip McGuire
Greta Neubauer, Minority Leader in the National Assembly
State Senator Mark Spreitzer
Rebecca Mason, who resigned four years agois married to Cory Mason, who was re-elected last month 57-43 against a republican alderman. Steil, for his part, hasn’t ruled out leaving the House to lead a campaign against Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin. back at the end of Marchbut he was rarely mentioned as a potential statewide candidate.
The situation is quite different in the Green Bay area where OB-GYN Kristin Lyerly, who was one of three doctors involved in Attorney General Josh Kaul’s challenge to the state’s 1849 abortion ban , says she is think about assuming Gallagher. Lyerly, who lost a campaign to the GOP state Rep. Jean Macco 52-48 in 2020 as Trump wore his 88th Assembly District 50-48admitted it would be tough to win here in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel but added, “But I did my OB-GYN residency with four kids under 10. I’m not afraid of the hard work.”
It would indeed take a lot of hard work for any Democrat to win in a pro-Trump riding. by a wide 57-41 in 2020 and that Savicki says backed conservative Dan Kelly 52-48 on Protasiewicz. It is possible that Gallagher, which NRSC President Steve Daines has presented as a potential enemy of Baldwin, will not be there to defend the 8th, although the Republicans would still be the favorites to hold it. (The congressman continues to dodge questions about his plans, even though, like Steil, he has yet to say no to a Senate bid.)
But the more important question is whether the 2024 elections will take place under different borders. Protasiewicz, who blasted state GOP-designed maps as “rigged” during his campaign, will give progressives a majority on the bench when she takes office on August 1, and the liberal Law Forward group says it plans to file a lawsuit soon after claiming that the state constitution prohibits partisan gerrymandering. Northeastern Wisconsin’s harsh right turn during the Trump era means that even a fairer congressional map may not be enough to threaten GOP control of Gallagher’s seat, but it could make life more difficult for Steil.
PS As Pocan alluded to, Badger State Democrats are also hoping to resume 3rd District of Southwestern Wisconsin. Republican Derrick Van Orden defeated Democratic Senator Brad Pfaff 52-48 last year, two years after Trump won by the same margin, and Savicki say that Protasiewicz won this seat 55-45. However, a new court-drawn map of Congress could also make this district more winnable for Democrats, much like the 1st.
The Journal-Sentinel reported at the end of March that Pfaff was planning a revengealthough there have been no updates on his plans since then. In that same article, however, businesswoman Rebecca Cooke and former CIA officer Deb McGrath, who both lost the primary to Pfaff, each showed some interest in running again.