In Blow To GOP, Rep. Mike Gallagher Decides Against Senate Run

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Republican Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher will not challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2024, dealing a major blow to the GOP’s candidate recruitment efforts.

“As the representative of Northeast Wisconsin and Chairman of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, I have a rare, bipartisan opportunity in the 118th Congress to help restore American strength, prevent war in the Pacific, and defend our basic freedoms from communist aggression. Accomplishing this mission and serving Wisconsin’s 8th District deserve my undivided attention. Therefore, I will not run for the Senate in 2024 and will pursue re-election in the House,” Gallagher said in a statement.

A fourth-term congressman from Green Bay, Gallagher previously served as a Marine intelligence officer. He deployed to Iraq twice and holds a doctorate from Georgetown University in government and international relations. One of the Republican Party’s leading China hawks, Gallagher pushed for the creation of the China select committee, which he chairs. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Mike Gallagher To Warn Of ‘Maximum Danger’ To Taiwan As Xi Threatens ‘All Measures’)

“I believe that when we look back in 50 years, the American people will ask: Did our elected leaders rally as a country and confront the Chinese Communist Party threat before it was too late? Continuing to lead this fight in the House of Representatives is the best way for me to help answer that question affirmatively,” he added.

A poll conducted by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates found that Gallagher would run neck-and-neck with Baldwin in a hypothetical matchup. Baldwin would garner 47% and Gallagher 46%, the poll of 500 likely voters found. However, a Public Policy Polling survey of 507 likely Republican primary voters found that former Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke was the top choice of GOP primary voters, with 40% support to Gallagher’s 20%.

“It’s obviously disappointing, but it would have been political malpractice not to try to recruit Mike Gallagher. We will have a strong candidate in Wisconsin,” National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Tate Mitchell said in a statement.