Rep. Gallagher’s Departure Timing Will Leave Seat Open


Mr. Gallagher’s April 19 departure will prevent him from being replaced via a special election.

Rep. Mike Gallagher’s (R-Wis.) March 22 announcement that he will retire in mere weeks caught insiders’ attention because of the timing.

Per Wisconsin statute, “A vacancy in the office of U.S. senator or representative in Congress occurring prior to the 2nd Tuesday in April in the year of the general election shall be filled at a special primary and election.”

However, any “vacancy in that office occurring between the 2nd Tuesday in April and the 2nd Tuesday in May in the year of the general election shall be filled at the partisan primary and general election.”

Mr. Gallagher’s April 19 departure is timed for the narrow band between April 9 and May 14, which will prevent him from being replaced via a special election.

It comes as the House GOP fights to retain a narrow majority amid a session that has seen multiple retirements and the high-profile expulsion of former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) from his seat in New York’s Third District following an ethics investigation. On the same very eventful Friday, March 22, Mr. Santos announced his intention to run for Congress as an Independent rather than a Republican.

Democrat Tom Suozzi, who formerly represented the Third District, won a February special election against Nassau County Legislator Mazi Pilip, a Republican.

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Some Republicans and conservative political activists have zeroed in on the timing of Mr. Gallagher’s final day, which comes soon after Mr. Gallagher’s bill banning TikTok was passed by the House.

“He isn’t protecting his seat from a Democrat winning a special election. He’s purposely leaving it vacant through November to sabotage the Republican majority,” Greg Price of the State Freedom Caucus Network wrote on X.
Forbes has reported that the Wisconsin Republican will be taking a job with Palantir after leaving office. The defense company, led by socialist CEO Alex Karp and initially funded in part by the CIA’s venture capital arm, In-Q-Tel, has taken the lead in lobbying to ban TikTok. Palantir has also been a top donor to Mr. Gallagher this election cycle.
Just days ago, Mr. Gallagher attacked former members of Congress for lobbying on behalf of TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance.

“Former members of Congress lobbying on behalf of TikTok. By the way, that should be illegal. Members of Congress should not be allowed to lobby in general, let alone on behalf of foreign adversaries,” he said on CBS News’ Face the Nation after the TikTok bill passed.

The Epoch Times has not independently confirmed the reports Mr. Gallagher will be joining Palantir.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Mr. Gallagher’s staff regarding Palantir as well as the timing of his retirement. The Epoch Times has also reached out to Palantir.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) announced his March 22 departure from Congress on March 12, setting up a June special election for his seat in the 4th District of Colorado that will coincide with a crowded primary for that slot. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who currently represents the 3rd District, will be competing in that primary, but not in the special election.

“I think it’s the next three people that leave that they’re going to be worried about,” Mr. Buck told Axios after announcing his resignation.
“If there are two more, then [Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.)] has a problem,” Ron Filipkowski, founder of the liberal MeidasTouch Network, wrote on X after news of Mr. Gallagher’s retirement broke.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and former Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) have also left Congress early this term, setting up contests to replace them in heavily Republican districts.

A special election for Mr. McCarthy’s seat has advanced to a runoff scheduled for May 21. California State Assemblyman Vincent Fong will face Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux.

The special election for Mr. Johnson’s seat will take place June 11. Republican Michael Rulli is running against Democrat Michael Kripchak.


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