Tiffany wins vacant seat in Congress
Voters promoted Republican Tom Tiffany from senate senator to U.S. congressman in Tuesday’s special election. Tiffany defeated Democrat Tricia Zunker by 14 percentage points across Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District, earning 108,269 votes compared to 81,055 for Zunker. Locally, Tiffany easily defeated Zunker in every municipality, claiming the lion’s share of votes in both Clark and Marathon counties.
Districtwide, Tiffany won every county but the three along Lake Superior — Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas. He had one of his strongest showings in Clark County, where 66 percent of the ballots were cast for the Republican from Minocqua.
Zunker, a tribal attorney and Wausau School Board member, did better in Marathon County, earning 41 percent of the vote with the help of voters in Wausau. However, in the more rural areas of the Marathon County, Tiffany was the clear choice of voters.
As the result of Tuesday’s election, Tiffany will take over the seat vacated last fall by fellow Republican Sean Duffy, who had held the seat since 2011.
Tiffany’s win extends Republican control of a congressional that was previously held by Democrat Dave Obey for 42 years.
With the general election in November, Tiffany could potentially face another opponent within the next few months. Because members of the House of Representatives each serve two-years, they must face re-election on every even-numbered year.
Tiffany is a former dam tender for the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Corp. and owner of Wilderness Cruise who has served in the state legislature for 10 years. He was endorsed by President Trump and has vowed to be a supporter of the president’s agenda.
In a statement emailed to media outlets Tuesday night, Tiffany thanked all of his supporters and promised to be a strong representative for northwestern Wisconsin.
“Throughout this campaign, one thing was made resoundingly clear: the people of our district want a strong, experienced voice who will take some Northwoods commonsense to Washington D.C.,” he said. “Someone who will work with President Trump to get our families safely through these rough times and back to prosperity. That has always been my promise to you and I am ready to hit the ground running on day one.”
Despite the fact that their candidate lost in a decisive win for the Republican candidate, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin said Zunker’s showing at the polls was an improvement over the president’s 20-point win in 2016.
“Trump went all in for Tom Tiffany and got egg on his face,” said party chairman Chair Ben Wikler. “For Trump to win reelection, red areas have to get redder to balance out blue areas getting bluer—but tonight, thanks to the terrific campaign run by Tricia Zunker and the organizing work of thousands of volunteers, Wisconsin’s reddest Congressional district swung drastically towards Democrats.”