Wisconsin Speaker Fitzgerald To Run For U.S. Senate

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011 at 7:19 am

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon) is announcing his candidacy for the United States Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Herb Kohl. Fitzgerald says his experience shepherding controversial collective bargaining reforms through the legislature and passing Wisconsin’s first balanced budget in more than a decade has left him battletested and ready to take the fight for true reform to Washington.

“Common sense reforms combined with unwavering leadership create results that are as desperately needed as they are rare,” said Fitzgerald. “In Wisconsin I led the Assembly to a balanced budget in face of fierce opposition from the status quo. I would be honored to lead a new reform movement in Washington.”

According to Fitzgerald, he is running to advance an alternative to President Obama’s agenda, which Fitzgerald says spends too much, reforms too little, and has failed to address a growing unemployment crisis. Fitzgerald says he stands out as a candidate because of his recent policy and political successes as Assembly Republican leader.

“Any candidate can promise to change a system, to balance a budget, or to enact a pro-growth, job creating agenda,” said Fitzgerald. “Few can actually say they’ve done it and none so dramatically or recently as we did in Wisconsin.”

Fitzgerald is no stranger to statewide campaigns. In 2010 he spearheaded the Assembly Republicans’ path to a landslide victory, winning 14 challenge seats and retaining all incumbents to give the GOP a 60-49 majority. Fitzgerald says the structure and connections he built to retake the Assembly give him an under-recognized advantage in the race.

“You don’t recruit more than 100 candidates or raise the kind of money necessary to win that large of a victory without putting the miles on the odometer or making the connections necessary to win a statewide race,” said Fitzgerald. “There is no doubt that this will be a grassroots lead effort and I think the timing is perfect for just this kind of campaign to win.”

Fitzgerald plans to unveil his campaign and fundraising structures over the coming days. Fitzgerald says the collective bargaining and budgetary reforms he pushed in Wisconsin will play prominently in his race for national office.

“While the specific reforms may differ, the lessons we learned in Wisconsin can, and should be applied to the federal government,” said Fitzgerald. “Spending less than government takes in once seemed liked an impossible task, but I just lead the Assembly through a gauntlet of opposition to a truly balanced budget. If we can do it in Wisconsin, we can do it in DC.”

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