Republican state Sen. Tom Tiffany won the special election in Wisconsin Monday, filling the vacancy left by former GOP Rep. Sean P. Duffy, and beating out democrat Tricia Zunker.
Democrats and Republicans were watching Tuesday’s results as a sign of how President Donald Trump might fair in November.
Tiffany won the election by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent in Wisconsin’s 7th District.
The special election was required because of Duffy’s resignation in September 2019, after the Representative learned that he had to take care of a medical emergency with one of his nine children.
The district, which covers 20 counties and is spread across northern and central Wisconsin, has leaned heavily toward Republicans in recent years.
President Donald Trump prevailed in the 7th district, winning it by 20 points in 2016.
Tiffany, a long-standing conservative, focused his campaign around his shared vision with President Trump, and the president acknowledged those shared values when he showed his support on Twitter in April, and again days before the election.
“Tom Tiffany is a Great Advocate for the incredible people of Wisconsin (WI07). We need Tom in Congress to help us Make American Great Again! He will Fight for Small Business, supports our Incredible Farmers, Loves our Military and our Vets,” said Trump.
Tiffany, 62, has served as a state senator since 2013 and owned and operated Wilderness Cruises for 20 years, he also worked as a dam tender for 25 years on the Willow Flowage.
Tiffany put out a statement Tuesday night, thanking his supporters.
“First and foremost, thank you to all the voters of 7th congressional district that cast ballots in today’s election,” he said. Tiffany also told his supporters that Zunker congratulated him on his victory.
“Throughout this campaign, one thing was made resoundingly clear: the people of our district want a strong, experienced voice that will take some Northwood commonsense to Washington D.C. 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,” Tiffany said.
Tuesday’s special election was held in-person, although elections officials urged voters to vote by mail.
During Wisconsin’s April election, officials went ahead with in-person voting despite a statewide lockdown to control the CCP virus, which outraged Democrats. Some believe this energized progressive voters and is what contributed to a Democrat winning a state Supreme Court seat.
Democrats tried to rally behind Tiffany’s opponent, Zunker, who is an associate justice for the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court. The judge was vying to become the third Native American woman elected to Congress.
According to the Federal Election Commission, Tiffany’s campaign had significantly higher donations, bringing in over $1.3 million, as compared with Zunker, who raised close to $450,000 in the election.
Tiffany and Zunker had ideological differences, especially on the topics of abortion, mining interests in northern Wisconsin, and gun control.
In response to Tiffany’s win, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin said, “The Democratic Party of Wisconsin will continue to organize every square inch of Wisconsin over the coming 175 days. We’re taking no voter for granted and intend to earn every vote cast for Democrats in November.”