Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald's participation in a Jefferson parade over the weekend is the latest sign the top Wisconsin Republican may be likely to launch a bid for Congress.
Included in the lineup for Jefferson's 2019 Gemuetlichkeit Days Parade on Sunday was "Fitzgerald for Congress," suggesting the Juneau Republican may be nearing the announcement of a campaign to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who said in September he will retire when his current term ends in early 2021.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported Fitzgerald's participation in the parade.
A parade spokeswoman wasn't available to confirm Fitzgerald's participation, however, a YouTube video of Sunday's parade shows Fitzgerald walking behind a car with his name on it, and a parade announcer introducing Fitzgerald by saying he may be running for Congress.
A Fitzgerald spokesman didn't respond to a request seeking comment. Fitzgerald has not officially announced a run for the Republican stronghold held by Sensenbrenner, 76, R-Menominee Falls, since 1979. Republican strategists say the 5th Congressional District seat could be a golden ticket for long-term staying power in Congress.
Fitzgerald's participation in Sunday's Gemuetlichkeit Days Parade comes after other prominent Republicans who mulled bids for southeastern Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District dropped out of the running, potentially clearing the way for Fitzgerald.
Those Republicans include former Republican U.S. Senate candidate and state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield; and Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow.
Sen. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, also announced he also wouldn’t pursue a bid.
The list of Republicans considering a bid to represent the 5th Congressional District in southeastern Wisconsin is long. Besides Fitzgerald, it includes Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield; Rep. Adam Neylon, R-Pewaukee; former Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson; Matt Walker, the son of former Gov. Scott Walker; and Matt Neumann, son of former congressman Mark Neumann.
Democrat Tom Palzewicz, an entrepreneur and Navy veteran who lost to Sensenbrenner in 2018, is also running.