Tom Tiffany
Tom Tiffany
The primary election for  candidates for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House will be next Tuesday, Feb. 18, with the Republican race between State Sen. Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst and retired veteran Jason Church of Menomonie.
Lawrence Dale and Tricia Zunker are running in the Democratic primary election (see related story) for the 7th Congressional District.
The winners of the primary will face off in the general election to be held on May 12.
The special election will fill the vacancy left by Sean Duffy (R), who left office on Sept. 23, 2019. On Aug. 26, 2019, Duffy announced plans to resign from the House at the end of September, citing the impending birth of his child.
“With much prayer, I have decided that this is the right time for me to take a break from public service in order to be the support my wife, baby and family need right now,” Duffy said on his Facebook page.
Gov. Tony Evers originally scheduled the primary on Dec. 30, 2019, and the general election on Jan. 27, 2020, but he moved the dates back in October after the U.S. Department of Justice announced the original dates did not adhere to federal requirements.
Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District includes Vilas, Oneida, Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Clark, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor and Washburn counties. Portions of Chippewa, Jackson, Juneau, Monroe, and Wood counties are also in the district.
State Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) was the first to announced his candidacy for the vacant seat. Tiffany has established deep roots in the 7th Congressional District over the past 30 years where he and his wife, Chris, have lived and raised their three daughters. 
Tiffany grew up on a dairy farm near Elmwood,  and graduated from UW-River Falls with a degree in agricultural economics. 
A small-business owner, Tiffany owned and operated Wilderness Cruises for 20 years. He has also worked as a dam tender for 25 years on the Willow Flowage. He is a former town supervisor in the town of Little Rice and served on the Oneida County Economic Development board of directors. 
Most recently, Tiffany served one term in the 34th District of the State Assembly and is currently serving his second term as a state senator for the 12th District. 
Church grew up in Menomonie and graduated from Menomonie High School in 2007. He went to college at UW-La Crosse where he was a four-year letter winner in football and a cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC). 
Upon graduation with a degree in political science, Church was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army. Upon completion of his training, Church moved to a unit based out of Fort Lewis, Wash. In May 2012, Church deployed with this unit to Afghanistan. On Aug. 23, 2012, in Panjwai province, Church and nine other members of his platoon were involved in a roadside bomb attack. The blast resulted in the amputation of both legs below the knee. Church went through 21 surgeries at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. On July 31, 2014, Church received his promotion to captain and medically retired from the U.S. Army.
Church graduated from Georgetown University with a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the School of Foreign Service and from Wisconsin Law School with a Juris Doctor. He also serves on the board of directors for Sentinels of Freedom, a foundation to assist severely wounded post 9/11 veterans. His military awards include the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Airborne Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab. 

Tiffany’s plan

Tiffany said he’s running for Congress because he knows the people of northern and western Wisconsin  should be trusted to make the best decisions for their life. 
“When I was elected to the state Legislature, Wisconsin had serious problems: budget deficits, high unemployment, businesses fleeing our state, and a deep pessimism,” said Tiffany. “I asked voters to put their trust in me to deliver results. With like-minded women and men in the Legislature, we made Wisconsin a better place to live, to work, and to raise a family. It wasn’t easy and tough choices had to be made. I am prepared to make those same tough decisions in Washington, D.C., for the people of northern and western Wisconsin.”
Tiffany said he is not afraid of a battle.
“I don’t plan to go to Washington looking for a fight, but I can guarantee I will never back down from one. Now more than ever we need to stand up to preserve our freedoms and our bedrock values,” said Tiffany. “As we all know, it’s a swamp out there and we need someone who won’t waver when it comes to doing what is right for Wisconsin.”
Tiffany said he also is prepared to work with President Donald Trump.
“I’m running for Congress to be the ally President Trump needs to keep moving our country forward. He needs help to secure our borders, to stop the left’s obsessive march towards Socialism, to protect our second Amendment rights, to protect the unborn, and to get the government off our backs so we can all prosper,” said Tiffany. “He needs a proven conservative with a track record of getting things done.”
Tiffany has been endorsed by Duffy. 
“It’s a critical time for America. The number of radicals in Congress keeps growing. Still, Wisconsin families, farmers and manufacturers can be confident Tom will stand for freedom and liberty and work with the president to stop the creep of socialism. I hope you will all join me in supporting Tom Tiffany at the ballot box on Tuesday, Feb. 18,” said Duffy.
Tiffany also has received endorsements from the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, the National Rifle Association, the Bear Hunters Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner.

Church ready

Growing up in Menomonie, Church said he  was taught conservative values from his mother, who listened to Rush Limbaugh every afternoon, and about service from her father, grandfather and uncles who were all in the military. 
“My dream was to serve our nation, so I joined the ROTC program at UW-La Crosse. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 where I ultimately lost both of my legs in an explosion. Even though the Taliban took my legs, they didn’t take my desire to serve,” said Church.
Church said he wants to go to Washington, D.C., because he hasn’t lost his fighting spirit. 
“Our values in northern Wisconsin are under attack by the radical left. We need outsiders like President Trump, who are willing to fight for what’s right. The NRA recognized my commitment to defending the Second Amendment with an AQ rating, the highest score a first-time candidate without a voting record can receive,” said Church. “Wisconsin Right to Life endorsed my campaign because I will not allow federal funding to go to Planned Parenthood and I will support a constitutional amendment banning infanticide.”
Church said he knows Wisconsin farmers have struggled.
“I will work with President Trump to renegotiate our trade deals in order to make more of our products available to foreign markets. Focusing on future phases of a new trade agreement with China is crucial for giving our farmers relief,” said Church.
As a veteran, Church said supporting the U.S. military and servicemen and -women is also very important to him.
“We need to bring ongoing conflicts in the Middle East to a peaceful conclusion while also keeping our eye on future threats, like China,” said Church. “Our veterans deserve the best care we can provide. I experience the inefficiencies of the VA when I receive my medical care. Reforming the VA is critical for taking care of our veterans while also making sure they have access to quality housing and mental-health resources.
“I will be the fighter Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District needs to support President Trump and our conservative values,” said Church.