GREEN BAY -- Senator Frank Lasee (R - De Pere) has officially announced his candidacy for Wisconsin's 8th Congressional Seat, which is being vacated soon by Republican Congressman Reid Ribble.
In a written statement, the State Senator says:
"I'm running for Congress to restore personal freedom and economic liberty so our economy can grow, businesses can hire, workers can find better jobs with bigger paychecks --- and families can have a better future. Big government's greedy hand is robbing people of their liberty, looting the public treasury, rigging the system in favor of Washington politicians and lobbyists, and destroying the American Dream. I want to downsize Washington, so we supersize freedom --- and restore the dream to live, work and prosper in the America we love."
Senator Lasee is the first to formally announce his run for Ribble's spot in Congress.
But the 8th District seat is getting a lot of attention, from both sides of the aisle, and the potential for serious national attention is there, as well.
"I'm very excited about it, and you've got to be," says Lasee, after his formal announcement on Valentine's Day
at Titletown Brewery, in Green Bay. "This is a lot of work, and I'm looking forward to meeting lots of voters."
Senator Lasee was making his intentions known in front of family, friends, and supporters--including veteran Harold Grimes.
"He's done a great job for us in the past, and that's why we'll be here to support him through this election," adds Grimes, after standing alongside Lasee during his announcement.
"Frank has shown time and time again that he's willing to do that," echoed veteran James Smith.
Lasee says his three major goals are improving national security, boosting economic security, "and then, third... we need to balance the national budget so we aren't overspending, and then begin to pay down our national debt, because those are all important things to [move] Into the future."
But Lasee says he's expecting competition.
Republican State Representatives David Steffen, John Nygren, and Andre Jacque say they're considering a run.
Meanwhile, Democratic State Representative Penny Bernard Schaber, and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, say they're also considering.
"I expect it to be competitive," adds Lasee.
But experts expect this year's presidential race to bring added attention to Wisconsin's 8th District. Many consider Wisconsin to be a critical swing state.
"Some will see that as a blessing, others will see it as a curse," says Lasee, "but I think we'll see extra attention to Northeast Wisconsin, and I welcome it."
The 8th Congressional District seat includes 11 counties in Northeast Wisconsin.
Congressman Ribble announced last month he would not be seeking a fourth term to spend more time with his family.
Senator Lasee lives in De Pere and has been serving in the Wisconsin State Senate since 2010.