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Potential Field for Reid Ribble’s Wisconsin Seat Grows

Ribble announced over the weekend he wouldn't seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)
Ribble announced over the weekend he wouldn't seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Three-term Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble’s weekend announcement  that he won’t seek a fourth term has set off a potentially crowded race to replace him in what’s now a Favored Republican district.  

Republicans mention several potential candidates:  

  • Former Green Bay Packer Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, who’s been active in local Republican politics.
  • State Sen. Roger Roth of Appleton, who lost to Ribble in the 2010 primary.
  • State Rep. John Nygren of Marinette, who said Monday he was discussing with his family a possible Congressional bid.
  • Former State Rep. Chad Weininger, who worked for former Rep. Mark Green.
  • Mike Gallagher, a Marine Corps veteran and former Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer, who most recently served as foreign policy adviser to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential campaign.
  • State Rep. John Macco, whose family runs a prominent flooring business in the district.
  • State Sen. Frank Lasee, who hails from the eastern part of the district.

Democrats point to the district’s 2008 support for President Barack Obama, as well as its relatively inexpensive Green Bay media market and the state’s competitive Senate race to argue they can put the seat in play. Party sources mention two main contenders:

  • Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, the former Democratic Assembly Leader and the 2010 lieutenant governor nominee. He’s often mentioned as a likely gubernatorial candidate in 2018.
  • Jamie Wall, who lost to Ribble by 12 points in 2012. He ran for the Democratic nomination in 2006 but lost the primary to former Rep. Steve Kagen.

Ribble’s retirement prompted the Rothenberg & Gonzales Report /Roll Call to change the rating of the district, which Obama carried by 9 points in 2008 and Mitt Romney carried by 4 points in 2012, from Safe Republican to Favored Republican .  

Ribble is the 21st member of the House, and the eighth Republican from the class of 2010 , to announce he won’t run for re-election this cycle. In his Saturday evening announcement , the Wisconsin Republican said he was leaving Congress before his four-term limit pledge to spend more time with his family.  

Last October, he resigned from the House Freedom Caucus , and he’s been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, saying he would not support him if he were the party’s presidential nominee.  


Reid Ribble Won’t Seek Re-election

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