FILE - Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers

Voters in Wisconsin's largest congressional district will choose a new congressman in the dead of winter. 

Gov. Tony Evers on Monday set the special election date for Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District for Jan. 27, 2020. 

“The people of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District deserve to have a voice in Congress, which is why I am calling for a special election to occur quickly to ensure the people of the 7th Congressional District have representation as soon as possible," Evers, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The January election means the primary for the seat will be on Dec. 30. 

Republicans in Wisconsin said those dates are awfully political.

“Gov. Tony Evers called for a special election over the holidays in order to shield his party from rural voters during the spring election," Wisconsin Republican Party Executive Director Mark Jefferson said. 

Democrats are hoping for a strong turnout of their own next spring. The election in April 2020 is when voters will cast ballots for both the Democratic presidential primary and the state's next Supreme Court race. 

Jefferson said the decision to hold a special election essentially two months beforehand is as silly as it will be expensive and problematic. 

"Just last November, Gov. Evers said that hosting another election would cost millions of taxpayer dollars and cause undue confusion for election officials,” Jefferson said. “Gov. Evers knows the problems that come with holding an election in 26 counties during the holidays, but he doesn’t care. Clerks are already burdened by existing end-of-year priorities such as budgets and property taxes, along with reviewing nomination papers for local offices. This desperate move shows just how terrified Democrats are of rural Wisconsin voters."

Former state Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, said pretty much the same thing on Twitter, asking people to imagine what the statehouse press corps would have said had former Republican Scott Walker suggested a similar special election date. 

"The #FakeNews would be in complete meltdown. There would be story after story of poor town clerks and election workers cancelling Christmas trips to see aging parents in Florida. They would be absolute tear jerkers," Jarchow said in a tweet. 

The special election is being called to replace now-former Congressman Sean Duffy, R-Hayward. Duffy left office on Monday to spend more time with his wife and their soon-to-be born ninth child. 

Staff Reporter

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.