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"Year of the woman": Three considering challenging Gallagher for congressional seat

Kelly Peterson, Alicia Saunders and Dr. Kristin Lyerly announce possible run
Kelly Peterson, Alicia Saunders and Dr. Kristin Lyerly
Posted at 5:17 AM, Jan 31, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-31 06:17:22-05
  • Three women announced a possible run for Congress at a panel Tuesday night: former journalist Kelly Peterson, Navy veteran Alicia Saunders and obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Kristin Lyerly
  • A Democratic PAC held the event, called Women Win Wisconsin, to highlight candidates considering a run against Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher, who has represented Wisconsin's 8th district since winning his first election in 2016
  • Video shows each of the potential candidates explaining why they may enter the race

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

We're in Green Bay — or Wisconsin's 8th congressional district — which has been represented by Mike Gallagher since 2017.

These three women — Kelly Peterson, Alicia Saunders, and Dr. Kristin Lyerly — think they can change that.

"This is the year of the woman, and that is what we're highlighting tonight," Lyerly said. "And that is what we're kicking off for the rest of the election season."

Each of the three potential candidates cited women's health as a primary issue they hope to address.

"I'm very concerned about women's reproductive health, and women's reproductive healthcare," Peterson said.

"I can't take care of my patients the way that they deserve to be taken care of, and they can't see the care that they need," Dr. Lyerly said.

They attacked Congressman Gallagher's pro-life position, calling him an extremist.

The panel also discussed veteran mental health, child care, and clean water — issues Peterson says Gallagher has been inactive on in Congress.

"I'm an educator, but I'm also a concerned citizen, and I'm concerned with the direction this Congress is going," Peterson said. "And it's time to step in and really take a step forward."

Peterson and Saunders are making their first foray into politics.

"As just a normal, blue-collar person, entering the national stage and the national eye, scares the living daylights out of me," Saunders said, "but we need average people to step up."

Special guest Sarah Godlewski — the Secretary of State in Wisconsin — says representation matters, and the state needs more women in leadership.

"If we had more women at the table, these issues would have been taken care of a long time ago," Godlewski said.

Again — the three women on stage are all still considering a run, not confirmed — but they say they plan to get a Democrat on the ballot, which did not happen in 2022.