State Sen. Chris Kapenga announced today he won’t run for the 5th CD, further narrowing a Republican field that so far only includes Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald for the heavily GOP seat in southeastern Wisconsin.
Sources indicated earlier this fall that Kapenga, R-Delafield, was laying the foundation to get into the race and had been calling operatives about building out a campaign.
But in a statement this afternoon, Kapenga said after conversations with advisers, meeting with GOP colleagues in Wisconsin and traveling to Washington, D.C., he decided against a run.
“Although initially we were very excited about the opportunity to possibly serve in Congress
and the support we received, as time progressed it became clear that there are other impactful leadership opportunities that will better utilize my real-world business experience and allow me to help advance the conservative agenda of the Republican Party,” Kapenga said.
Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, quickly jumped into the race for the 5th CD after U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, announced places in September to retire after four decades in the House. Since then, a series of Republicans have passed on a bid, including Waukesha County Exec Paul Farrow, former GOP U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson, state Sen. Leah Vukmir and Matt Walker, son of former Gov. Scott Walker,
Matt Neumann, the son of former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann who works with his father in the family home building business, is still considering a run. He has indicated plans to make a decision around year’s end.
On the Dem side, Tom Palzewicz has announced plans to run after losing to Sensenbrenner last year with 38 percent of the vote.