China Hawk Rep. Mike Gallagher Won’t Run for Another Term

News & Politics

Rep. Mike Gallagher, who chairs the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, will not seek reelection this November.

Gallagher’s decision comes just days after he cast one of three “no” votes on the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The attempt fell short by one vote.

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After the vote, Gallagher wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal to justify his vote. He wrote that impeachment wouldn’t stop migrants from crossing the border. But lowering the impeachment bar even below the bar set by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Trump impeachments just invites even more misuse of the impeachment clause.

In Gallagher’s statement explaining why he declined to run again, he cited the Jeffersonian idea of term limits.

“The Framers intended citizens to serve in Congress for a season and then return to their private lives,” Gallagher 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 re-election.”

Gallagher also cited his belief he had done enough.

“I really just feel like I’ve accomplished much more than I even thought I could when I set out, and I firmly don’t believe that the best use for the next chapter of my career is staying in Congress for another decade,” Gallagher said in an interview.

The 39-year-old Gallagher was first elected in 2016 and was seen as one of the rising stars of the party. The former intelligence officer and retired Marine has made congressional reform and national security his specialties.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Still, Gallagher’s announcement came with little warning. The Green Bay Republican in his eight years in Congress established himself as one of Capitol Hill’s top national security and foreign policy hawks and had been on the rise in Washington as the youngest committee chair in recent history. 

He was tapped last year to lead the select committee working to counter the influence of the Chinese Communist Party — one of Congress’ most high-profile committees. And he was a top choice for Republicans to run for Senate in 2024 before he pulled his name from consideration last summer.

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The Eighth Congressional District is deep red; Gallagher won his last race by 25 points. Just hours after Gallagher’s announcement, former state Senator Roger Roth, an Appleton Republican who ran for lieutenant governor in 2022, said he would run for the seat. 

 He calls himself a “proven conservative fighter.”

“We must solidify our border and strengthen our national security, our economy, and our traditional values,” Roth said in a statement. “Our federal government is failing us. It is our duty to preserve and protect our great nation now and for our future.”

Other Republicans are expected to join what will be a crowded field.

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