Scott Fitzgerald clinches victory in Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District race, AP projects

Posted at 9:19 PM, Nov 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 16:44:08-05

State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has clinched a victory in the race for Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District.

The state-GOP leader beat Democratic opponent Tom Palzewicz by 32 percent of the vote Tuesday night. Fitzgerald defeated Clifford DeTemple in the Republican primary in August.

"This year brought some unprecedented challenges, and I'm proud that we ran a positive, aggressive campaign amid the current crisis facing our nation," Fitzgerald said in a statement Tuesday night. "Despite these challenges, we ran a campaign centered around the issues that the voters of Wisconsin's Fifth care about: keeping Wisconsin families safe, rebuilding our local economy, and protecting our Wisconsin values. The steadfast support that we received from the grassroots leaders of Wisconsin's Fifth and conservatives from all over Wisconsin was instrumental to today's victory."

The majority leader has played a key role in Republican efforts to stymie the influence of Gov. Tony Evers, including the lame-duck session that limited the governor's powers and top Democrat's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When former Republican Gov. Scott Walker was in office, Fitzgerald led efforts to pass Wisconsin Act 10, which limited the ability of unions for state employees to collectively bargain in Wisconsin.

Fitzgerald became Senate Majority Leader in 2012, following a sweep by Republicans that brought the party to control Wisconsin's legislative and executive branches. He continued in that role after Evers won the gubernatorial race in 2018.

Before his journey into politics, Fitzgerald served 23 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and worked in the newspaper business for almost ten years, owning the Dodge County Independent News in Juneau.

Palzewicz is a former treasurer of USBank Mortgage Corp and served in the Navy for six years.

"I respect my opponent for running and his military background. I know this will ensure he embodies servant leadership in Congress. We led our campaign with facts and integrity, and I am proud of what we accomplished. I hope he will lead with the idea of progress over partisanship in Washington," said Palzewicz in a statement Wednesday morning.

According to Federal Elections Commission data, Fitzgerald raised over $1 million for the election, while Palzewicz raised just over $300,000.

The 5th district includes Washington and Jefferson counties and portions of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Dodge and Walworth counties. Former Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner led the district for almost two decades, until deciding to retire at the end of his term this year.

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