, ,

Wausau Democrat Announces Run For Sean Duffy’s Seat In Congress

Former Labor Representative Will Join 2 Other Candidates Vying For The Seat


Wausau Democrat Phil Salamone announced plans this week to run for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District seat, currently held by Republican incumbent Rep. Sean Duffy.

Courtesy of Phil Salamone for U.S. Congress

Salamone is the son of a seamstress and truck driver who worked for decades as a labor representative negotiating union contracts. The Wausau Democrat said he’s running because he’d like to see more help for workers.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“I’d like to see (the) minimum wage raised,” he said. “I’d like to see some improvements to the (Affordable Care Act), which it could use.”

Salamone said the ACA is a step in the right direction, but he believes a single-payer system makes the most sense. He said he also supports free education and scaling back U.S. military involvement in the Middle East. If elected, Salamone said he’d like to improve Social Security by eliminating the cap on taxable income.

Along with Salamone, Marathon County Board Supervisor Joel Lewis is running for the seat as a Democrat.

Courtesy of Joel Lewis

Lewis said his mother held down the fort as a swing-shift factory worker at the Wausau Paper Mill while his dad served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He said he got into politics to fight for people like his parents after seeing the decline of high-paying jobs.

“Myself and everyone else included is sick of folks running for office who are out of touch with working class America, and I am very much in touch with working class America,” said Lewis. “I’ve struggled while I went to college. I struggled trying to find good work and this is the same story I hear from everyone around me.”

If elected, Lewis said he’d support a minimum wage increase, seek input from voters about what they’d like to see from the Affordable Care Act and scrutinize military spending.

Wausau independent contractor Ethel Quisler has also filed papers to run as a Democrat against Duffy, who is seeking a fourth term in office. Quisler could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Salamone was Duffy’s only challenger. It has been updated with information about other candidates.

Update: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Joel Lewis has officially filed as a candidate in the race.