Sean Duffy, the Wisconsin Republican Congressman who once starred on the Real World, is resigning, according to a post he wrote on Facebook.
Politico cited three “GOP sources with direct knowledge of his plans.” He will leave Congress at the end of September. A few minutes later, Duffy, who has served in Congress since 2010, confirmed the news himself, writing on Facebook on August 26, 2019:
“Next to marrying Rachel, representing you – the people and families of Wisconsin’s 7th District – in Congress has been the highest honor of my life. Together, we have engaged in the most important battles of our time: protecting freedom of speech and religious liberty, taking care of our veterans, defending the unborn, and saving American jobs and American capitalism.
After eight and a half years, the time has come for me to focus more on the reason we fight these battles – family.”
Duffy and his wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy, have eight children with one on the way. Their children are Evita, Jack, Lucia-Belen, John-Paul, Paloma, Maria Victoria, Margarita, and Patrick Miguel. Rachel Campos-Duffy is a Fox News contributor and author.
Duffy’s sudden departure sets up a special election for his North Woods Congressional seat. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, must call a special election after Duffy resigns and told the publication he will do so. No candidates have declared. The Wisconsin newspaper called the district “deeply red” and lists potential candidates as a trio of state legislators: Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, Sen. Jerry Petrowski, R-Marathon, and Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Mason.
Here’s what you need to know:
Duffy Wrote That He Wants to Focus on Family Because the Couple’s New Baby Has Health Issues
Duffy’s resignation statement on Facebook cited family as the reason he is quitting Congress. His large brood with wife Rachel has often been featured in campaign materials. He had been a rising star in Wisconsin sometimes mentioned as a possible Republican gubernatorial candidate or candidate for U.S. Senate. Duffy did not articulate his future career plans in the statement.
“As you all know, raising a family is hard work. It’s especially true for one as large and busy as mine. Being away from home in Washington four days a week is challenging and for that reason, I have always been open to signs from God when it comes to balancing my desire to serve both my family and my country,” Duffy continued in the resignation statement.
“Recently, we’ve learned that our baby, due in late October, will need even more love, time, and attention due to complications, including a heart condition. 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. It is not an easy decision – because I truly love being your Congressman – but it is the right decision for my family, which is my first love and responsibility.
On September 23, I will step down and allow others to step forward to begin laying out their own vision and plans for leading this beautiful district and the most honest, hard-working, family-oriented, patriotic, and God-fearing constituents in America.
I will be forever grateful for and humbled by the faith and sacred trust you have put in me all these years. I am especially grateful for the prayers said on behalf of our family. We hope they keep coming! I will miss being your Congressman, but I am also looking forward to having more time with my family, being home for more birthdays and hockey games, and having time to enjoy and care for our new baby girl, who is already so loved by our family.
A special thank you to my chief of staff, Pete Meachum, my district director, Jesse Garza, and the rest of my loyal and competent district & DC staff. They are the reason you have enjoyed the best and most attentive customer service this district has ever had to resolve your federal issues and problems. I am so proud of what they do and have full confidence they will continue to seamlessly provide these valuable services during the coming transition.”
Here’s the post:
Duffy’s district, anchored in northern Wisconsin, is solidly Republican. Donald Trump won the district by 21 points in 2016 in one of the key rust belt battleground states that Trump flipped to win the election that year. There hadn’t been any hints before that Duffy was considering resigning.
Duffy Is a Native of Hayward, Wisconsin Who Met His Wife on the Real World Television Show
Sean Duffy often played up his lumberjack roots. According to his biography, “Congressman Sean Duffy was born and raised in Hayward, Wisconsin. His great, great grandfather was one of the state’s early pioneers and a laborer for the Northwestern Lumber Company. His great grandfather, one of Hayward’s founding settlers, was a sawyer for 27 years.”
The bio explains that Duffy was a “nationally recognized professional lumberjack athlete. He is a two-time world champion in the 90-foot speed climb, three-time champion in the 60-foot and an accomplished log-roller.” Duffy was one of 11 siblings.
According to the bio, he worked his way through law school, becoming an elected district attorney in northern Wisconsin. He met his wife Rachel Campos-Duffy, who is from Arizona, through the MTV show, “The Real World,” although they were on different seasons. “Campos-Duffy was on season three, set in San Francisco, and Duffy was on season six, in Boston,” CNN reports.
Rachel, a Fox News contributor, explained to National Review what it’s like to have so many kids. “We didn’t plan one of my kids; they just kind of happened. So I’ve just kind of taken each one as a blessing sent to me by God. To be honest, this last one was kind of a surprise. I thought I was getting a little old. But apparently not!” she said to National Review.
Campos-Duffy told the conservative site that people called her an environmental terrorist and made misogynistic comments when she announced she was pregnant with kid number 9. She added: “…there are a lot of beautiful things that happen in large families…friendships are formed among siblings…I always tell my kids there’s some wonderful things about being in a big family and there’s some drawbacks. And hopefully they’re experiencing more of the good parts about having a big family.”
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