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Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) said Friday he will not run to challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) in 2024.
“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,” Gallagher said in a statement on Twitter.
“Accomplishing this mission and serving Wisconsin’s 8th District deserve my undivided attention,” he added. “Therefore, I will not run for the Senate in 2024 and will pursue re-election to the House.”
Republicans had been pushing for Gallagher to jump in the race against the three-term Democratic senator, and his decision leaves the field wide open. No Republican has officially jumped into the race in the battleground state.
“Mike Gallagher would be a great candidate,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), previously told Politico. “He’s the kind of candidate that, with his distinguished service and then time in Congress, could win both the primary and general election.”
However, the congressman said Friday he is focused on his role in helping to “confront the Chinese Communist Party threat.”
“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.