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Opela vows to stay in congressional race despite primary loss

An Edgar man is continuing his run for the 7th Congressional District seat.

Micheal Opela of Edgar announced he will be running as a Republican writein candidate at the May 12 special election to fill the seat previously held by Rep. Sean Duffy. Duffy resigned last fall citing family concerns. Opela has also stated that he also plans to run on the November 2020 general election.

State senator Tom Tiffany won the Republican Primary held on Feb. 18 and is set to face Tricia Zunker in the May special election. Opela, had also appeared on a registered write-in as a Republican on the Feb. 18 primary and received no votes among Taylor County voters.

According to a statement announcing his intent to run, Opela said he based his decision his determination to give the people of Wisconsin District 7 representation free of special interest and PAC monies. He vowed to provide voters that are not interested in socialism, a candidate they can count on to represent while offering an alternative for those who did not want either Tiffany or Zunker.

“That more than 40,000 voters did not vote for Tom Tiffany or Tricia Zunker and need a candidate they believe,” Opela stated.

The announcement drew a rebuke from members of the Marathon County Republican Party calling on Opela to follow the lead of national candidates who recognized they cannot win.

“You are embarrassing yourself, Michael . . . Respect the Primary results. Tiffany and Zunker won. Primary elections are for Party voters. General elections are for the winning candidates of primary elections and anyone else who didn’t run in a primary,” stated Kevin Hermening immediate past chair of the Republican Party of Marathon County in an email release following Opela’ announcement.