Democrat Kristin Lyerly, an OB-GYN, to run for soon to be vacant Gallagher congressional seat

WASHINGTON – De Pere Democrat Kristin Lyerly is all in on the congressional seat left empty by the impending retirement of Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher.

Lyerly told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Wednesday she will run for Congress in Wisconsin’s northeastern 8th Congressional District, setting up a Democratic bid for the rural red seat after the party failed to field a challenger to Gallagher last election cycle.

Lyerly, an OB-GYN, said her campaign will center on healthcare access. She plans to formally announce her campaign Thursday morning at Hinterland Brewing Company in Green Bay.

“I think people have really felt unrepresented, like their voices have gone unheard, and that needs to change,” Lyerly said.

“There is a path here (for Democrats) for the first time in a really long time,” she said. “It feels like hope.”

Lyerly’s decision comes as Gallagher, a high-profile foreign policy hawk, plans to leave Congress on April 19 — months before the end of his term . Gallagher has not said why he is cutting his time short but has called the move a family decision. He previously announced in February this would be his last term in the House.

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