Sean Duffy leaving Congress to focus more on family: 'Right time for me to take a break from public service'

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Sean Duffy, who represents northern Wisconsin, announced on Monday, Aug. 26 that he will step down from his job in Washington next month to "allow others to step forward to begin laying out their own vision and plans for leading this beautiful district and the most honest, hard-working, family-oriented, patriotic, and God-fearing constituents in America."

Duffy posted on Facebook that he wants to spend more time with his family.

"Recently, we’ve learned that our baby, due in late October, will need even more love, time, and attention due to complications, including a heart condition. With much prayer, I have decided that this is the right time for me to take a break from public service in order to be the support my wife, baby and family need right now. It is not an easy decision – because I truly love being your Congressman – but it is the right decision for my family, which is my first love and responsibility."

"I will be forever grateful for and humbled by the faith and sacred trust you have put in me all these years. I am especially grateful for the prayers said on behalf of our family. We hope they keep coming! I will miss being your Congressman, but I am also looking forward to having more time with my family, being home for more birthdays and hockey games, and having time to enjoy and care for our new baby girl, who is already so loved by our family."

Duffy announced on Facebook that he plans to step down on Sept. 23.

The 47-year-old Duffy was first elected to Congress in 2010. He has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump and has also been widely mentioned as a possible candidate for U.S. Senate or governor in 2022.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will have to call a special election to fill the vacancy.

Statements of reaction to Duffy's departure

Sen. Ron Johnson

“We are all saddened by the news that Sean and Rachel Duffy’s soon-to-be-born baby girl will experience significant health challenges. Family responsibilities should always come first, and I fully understand and respect Sean’s decision to devote his full time and attention to his family. I ask everyone to keep Sean and his family in your prayers.”

Andrew Hitt, Republican Party of Wisconsin

“For the past eight years, Sean Duffy has served the people of Wisconsin’s seventh congressional district with dedication, honor, and an interminable love for our State and its people. Sean has always been a great friend of the Party and an exceptional proponent of our conservative ideals. We are extremely grateful for his years of service and friendship. I, along with everyone at the Republican Party of Wisconsin, will be keeping Sean, Rachel, and the rest of the Duffy family in our thoughts and prayers as they make this difficult transition and prepare for the arrival of the newest member of their family.”

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce President & CEO Kurt Bauer

“Congressman Duffy is a great friend to Wisconsin’s business community and has been a terrific voice for the people in Wisconsin’s 7th District. His leadership in Washington will be sorely missed. We wish him, Rachel and their entire family all the best as they welcome a new baby girl this October.”

Rep. Mike Gallagher

“Since the first time I met him, it was clear to me that Sean Duffy was a great husband, father, and a dedicated representative for the people of Wisconsin. His decision to leave Congress is unfortunate, but Sean’s choice ultimately reflects his commitment to always putting his family first. I will miss serving with him in Congress and will pray for him, Rachel, and their growing family as they begin this next chapter of their lives."

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner

“Sean and Rachel Duffy are dear friends and proud patriots. It has been an honor to mentor them and watch them excel, and I thank them for their service and leadership. They and their children are family to me. While it comes as a great loss to the people of Wisconsin, I understand the challenging times ahead for the Duffy family and respect their decision. Sean, Rachel, their unborn child, and the rest of the family are in my prayers. As I have seen them overcome many challenges before, I am confident that they will undertake this one with prayerful and humble hearts.”

Rep. Bryan Steil

“Sean is a great friend, an unwavering champion for Wisconsin families, and most importantly, a devoted husband and father. Sean has been a great ally in Congress. His passion for bettering our nation and taking an ax to the issues that matter most will be sorely missed. I wish Sean, Rachel, and their kids nothing but the best and I will continue praying for their family.”

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler

“The Democratic Party of Wisconsin sends its well wishes to the Duffy family as they face the medical challenges ahead. During the fight against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, I worked closely with the families of children born with congenital heart defects. Nurturing these children is a full-time job, and one that takes great emotional strength from the families who love them. I will be hoping for the best for Sean and Rachel as they prepare to welcome their child to the world.”

Rep. Glenn Grothman

“Congressman Duffy has long been a leader who brings real Wisconsin values and common-sense solutions to Washington. He has been a model representative who looks out for his district, because it truly is his home. In addition to being an expert on the Financial Services Committee, Sean Duffy’s outgoing lumberjack personality will be sorely missed by all of Congress. I wish Sean, Rachel and their children all the best in these trying times and hope to see them back in the Capitol sometime in the future.”