A Marine veteran will be the next congressman for northeast Wisconsin.
It was a night of celebration for those in attendance of Mike Gallagher’s watch party in Green Bay. The Republican and political newcomer defeated Democratic challenger Tom Nelson by nearly a two-to-one margin and will fill the seat that was left vacated by former Republican Reid Ribble. For Gallagher, it was the message he heard from the voters he encountered on the campaign trail that he believes pushed him to victory.
“We had a more powerful weapon in our arsenal, and that’s the people in this room. Because of your hard work, your engagement, we took from you our message,” claimed Gallagher. “Our message was simple: it’s that the world could use more of what we’re doing in Wisconsin, and less of what they’re doing in Washington D.C.”
Gallagher says it’s those Wisconsin values that he’s come across campaigning that many in Washington D.C. can learn from.
“The opportunists only curse the darkness, while the leaders find a way somehow to light a candle,” Gallagher explained. “We’ve heard a lot of cursing the darkness in Washington D.C. as of lately, but not a lot of candles getting lit. But I can tell you from the past nine months of campaigning, if there’s one place where the flame of democracy still shines brightly, it’s right here in Northeast Wisconsin.”
When reporters asked Gallagher of his feelings on the emotional night, he said he was more humbled by the support more than anything.
“Never having been through this before, and not knowing if we could get anywhere when we started, it’s just been incredibly rewarding to build this from the ground up. It’s been a true grassroots campaign, and I’m blessed.”
Gallagher’s opponent, Tom Nelson, will remain the Outagamie County executive and says he’ll work with Gallagher on federal issues that impact the county.
“There’s a lot of issues that we can work on,” said Nelson “Whether it’s the transportation issues, the agricultural issues, or any other issues, that I don’t think there’s much disagreement.”
Gallagher says one of his top priorities will be returning power to the states.