Democrats Poised to Rally Behind Lassa to Succeed Obey

Posted May 10, 2010 at 4:11pm

Democratic officials in Wisconsin are rallying around state Sen. Julie Lassa (D) as their nominee for the seat held by retiring Rep. David Obey (D).

“Julie Lassa will be our nominee and we will win the 7th Congressional district of Wisconsin,” a senior Democratic Party source in Wisconsin told Roll Call on Monday.

Lassa couldn’t be immediately reached for comment, but the Associated Press reported that Lassa is expected to make an official campaign announcement later Monday afternoon.

Because Obey announced his retirement just last week, most Democratic officials said they wanted to avoid a contested primary on Sept. 14, just seven weeks before a general election in which likely Republican nominee Sean Duffy, a county prosecutor, has a significant head start.

Lassa, 39, was first elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1998 and re-elected twice. She moved to the state Senate in 2003, when she won a special election, and was re-elected in 2004 and 2008. Lassa doesn’t have to surrender her state legislative seat to run for Congress.

The Democratic source said that Lassa is “someone in the mold of Dave Obey who is going to carry on his legacy of fighting for the working families of Wisconsin.”