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MADISON — Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald announced he’s running for Congress on Milwaukee talk radio Tuesday morning, making official a bid he has been increasingly expected to launch.

Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, confirmed to Milwaukee WISN (1130 AM) he’s embarking upon a campaign to replace outgoing Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner to represent southeastern Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District, a Republican stronghold. Scott Fitzgerald may be nearing bid for Congress

Sensenbrenner, 76, R-Menominee Falls, has held the seat since 1979 and announced in September he will retire at the end of his term in early 2021. Officials push forward juvenile justice plan they admit already falls short

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Fitzgerald’s announcement ends weeks of speculation over whether the top Republican would seek to get in the race. His announcement comes after other Republicans from the district bowed out of the running: notably former U.S. Senate candidate and state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield; Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow; Sen. Dale Kooyenga, R-Broofield; and Rep. Scott Allen, R-Waukesha. Director of suicide hotline says she has yet to see state budget money for her organization

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Fitzgerald may still face Republican competition for the GOP-friendly seat, since former U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson; Matt Walker, the son of former Gov. Scott Walker; and Matt Neumann, the son of former congressman Mark Neumann; may all still launch bids.

Fitzgerald has served in the state Senate since 1995 and as the top Senate Republican since 2011. Fitzgerald was a key figure in the passage of Act 10, the controversial 2011 law that weakened public-sector unions.

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