A second Republican candidate announced plans Tuesday, Sept. 24, to run for the vacant seat in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jason Church, a native of Menomonie, Wisconsin, and retired Army captain, plans to run in the special election to replace U.S. Rep Sean Duffy, who resigned Monday, Sept. 23. Duffy stepped down to spend more time with family as his unborn child faces health complications.

Church faces Wisconsin Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, in the Dec. 30 special primary election set by Gov. Tony Evers on Monday, Sept. 23. Tiffany announced his candidacy in Superior on Sept. 11.

The retired Army captain served in Afghanistan in 2012 following his graduation from Army Ranger School.

“In 2012, I answered the call to serve my country and I am proudly doing so again today,” Church said in a prepared statement Tuesday, Sept. 24. “Wisconsin’s 7th District is made up of hardworking Americans who understand sacrifice and caring for their neighbors in need. They rallied around me when I came home from Afghanistan and it would be my honor to return the favor and fight for them in the United States Congress.”

Jason Church
Jason Church

During his service in Afghanistan, Church and nine other members of his platoon were involved in a roadside bomb explosion. The blast resulted in both of Church’s legs being amputated below the knee.

On July 31, 2014, he was promoted from a first lieutenant to a captain and medically retired from the service.

Following his retirement, Church earned a Master of Arts in security studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School. He serves on the board of directors for Sentinels of Freedom, a foundation to assist severely wounded post-9/11 veterans.

After earning his law degree in May 2018, Church went to work for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. He said he resigned the position before declaring his candidacy for the U.S. Congress.

“He’s a great conservative mind,” Church said. “He is someone who is steadfast, someone who is always learning, always taking and analyzing facts before coming to his conclusion … that’s something I learned from him.”

Church said he plans to continue his legacy of service, pick tough fights and stand with President Trump to secure borders.

“I support President Trump and his desire to build a wall,” Church said. “We need to build the wall. We need to have more border patrol agents down there. We need to provide more funding for a judicial system that frankly is overloaded.”

Church said the immigration system is a process he knows well; his fiancée is from Brazil and they have been working through that process for months now so she can come to the U.S. legally.

“We respect the rule of law, so we’re not going to break that,” Church said

He said his other goals protect the most vulnerable, stand up for veterans and make sure Wisconsin’s economic recovery is protected from socialist interference.

“I view this as another way to serve,” Church said. “I’m willing to sacrifice. I’m willing to fight for the people of this district … You need to be an active voice in Washington. You need to be willing to go to bat for people of this district, and I’m willing to do that.”