Incumbent 7th District U.S. Congressman Sean Duffy, a Republican, defeated Democrat Margaret Engebretson in the midterm election Tuesday, and Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin topped Republican challenger Leah Vukmir.

Duffy won with 60% of the vote and Engebretson had 38%. Vilas County voters backed Duffy, as he won 8,116 to 4,295. Oneida County voters also supported Duffy, as he won 12,032 to 7,180.

Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District includes Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Clark, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Lang­lade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Vilas and Washburn counties. Portions of Chippewa, Jackson, Jun­eau, Monroe and Wood counties are also in the district.

Duffy, a U.S. representative since 2011, was born and raised in rural Wisconsin. He earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College. He was a professional lumberjack and competed in lumberjack shows to put himself through law school at the William Mitchell College of Law. After earning his law degree, Duffy went into private practice and then became district attorney of Ashland County.

During his time in Congress, Duffy has held more than 50 public town hall-style meetings in all 26 counties of the district and traveled regularly to community parades, fairs and dairy breakfasts.

Engebretson, who won the Democratic primary in April, is a military veteran of 24 years, former union worker and attorney. 

When she retired from the military in 2015, Engebretson had never been a member of a political party. She later became an active member of the Polk County Demo­crats and went through Emerge Wisconsin, a program designed to train and equip Democratic women to run for office.



Baldwin wins

Baldwin of Madison won with 55% of the vote and Vukmir of Brookfield had 44%. Vilas County voters supported Vukmir 7,166 to 5,307. Oneida County voters also backed Vukmir 10,112  to 9,338 for Baldwin.

Baldwin served three terms in the Legislature, was elected to the U.S. House in 1998 and won her first U.S. Senate term in 2012.

She has voted consistently with fellow Democrats, and nonpartisan vote trackers show her voting record as solidly liberal. Baldwin, while in the U.S. House, played a role in crafting the legislation that became the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — though her advocacy for the inclusion of a public option alternative to private health coverage ultimately faltered.

Vukmir, the assistant state Senate majority leader, has been a key figure among Republicans who have controlled the state House since 2011. She was first elected to the Legislature in 2002.

Vukmir has gained a reputation as one of the Senate's most staunch conservatives, and one unafraid to challenge more moderate GOP colleagues in closed-door caucus meetings. Vukmir said her unwavering conservatism helped Gov. Scott Walker pass sweeping measures including Act 10 and right-to-work legislation.