Rep. Mike Gallagher Will Not Seek Reelection

Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Republican from Wisconsin who ruffled feathers by voting against impeaching DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, won’t seek reelection.
Rep. Mike Gallagher Will Not Seek Reelection
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) presides over the first hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, in the Cannon House Office Building on February 28, 2023 in Washington, DC. The committee is investigating economic, technological and security competition between the U.S. and China. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) has said that he won’t seek reelection for another term, an announcement that comes as he faces criticism for voting against impeaching Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Thank you to the good people of Northeast Wisconsin for the honor of a lifetime,” the Republican from Wisconsin said in a Feb. 10 statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.
A former Marine, Mr. Gallagher, 39, was first elected to Wisconsin’s Eighth Congressional District in 2016, succeeding the retiring Rep. Reid Ribble, who had endorsed Mr. Gallagher to replace him.

At the time, Mr. Ribble praised the former human intelligence and counterintelligence officer’s “political moxie,” as well as his ability to fundraise and his strong “national defense posture.”

In addition to having served seven years in the military, Mr. Gallagher was once a staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and, when he decided to run for office in 2016, he was working as a global market strategist at a company in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Widely considered a moderate in the GOP, he was at times at odds with his party colleagues.

Mr. Gallagher expressed criticism of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 election and, while sheltering in his office during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach, he posted a video on X calling on the former president to call off the protesters.
More recently, he drew criticism from some in the GOP camp when he became one of three Republicans who voted against impeaching Mr. Mayorkas over his handling of the border crisis.
Mr. Mayorkas’s “performance has been a disgrace,” Mr. Gallagher wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published following the vote.

“But I disagree with my Republican colleagues who voted on Tuesday to impeach Mr. Mayorkas. Impeachment not only would fail to resolve Mr. Biden’s border crisis but would also set a dangerous new precedent that would be used against future Republican administrations,” he wrote.

Mr. Gallagher’s announcement marks the latest in a series of planned retirements in Congress.

‘Deter America’s Enemies’

Over the course of his eight years in Congress, Mr. Gallagher chaired both the Subcommittee on Cyber, Information Technologies, and Innovation, as well as the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party—the latter being one of the most high-profile committees in Congress.

“Four terms serving you has strengthened my conviction that America is the greatest country in the history of the world,” he said in his Feb. 10 statement announcing his retirement.

“And though my title may change, my mission will always remain the same: deter America’s enemies and defend the Constitution.”

Mr. Gallagher told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he plans to enter the private sector, where his work will build on his congressional experience in the area of national security and defense policy.

“Even though my title may change, my job may change, my mission is always going to remain the same,” he told the outlet. “My mission is to prevent World War III.”

“I’ve dedicated myself to restoring conventional deterrence in order to prevent a war with China, and so whatever I do next will be an extension of that mission.”

Mr. Gallagher said he never intended for his public service in Congress to be a long-term career.

“The Framers intended citizens to serve in Congress for a season and then return to their private lives,“ he said. ”Electoral politics was never supposed to be a career and, trust me, Congress is no place to grow old. And so, with a heavy heart, I have decided not to run for reelection.”

While his departure doesn’t give Republicans much time to jump into the race before the Wisconsin primary, his open seat in northeastern Wisconsin is widely considered a sure bet for a fellow Republican to take his place.