Tony Wied, ex-owner of Wisconsin gas station chain, set to declare candidacy for Gallagher’s seat

Tony Wied, the former owner of a Wisconsin gas station chain, is set to declare his candidacy for Rep. Mike Gallagher’s (R-Wis.) seat on Monday, according to two persons familiar with the situation.

Wied, who previously owned six Dino Stop gas stations and convenience stores, is set to announce a campaign for Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District, which encompasses the state’s northeastern region.

The Hill first reported that Trump-aligned GOP consultant Alex Bruesewitz was considering running for Gallagher’s seat, but he is expected to withdraw and instead support Wied. Last week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Wied was considering a run of his own, with Bruesewitz likely supporting him.

“I believe that Tony Wied is the most likely contender to win at this moment. Despite my lead of 21 points, Tony Wied is the most likely candidate to win this race in both the primary and general election,” Bruesewitz told The Hill.

“A part of putting America first is not putting yourself first,” he went on to say.

Bruesewitz was alluding to a Cygnal survey issued last month, which showed him leading the GOP primary field for Gallagher’s seat with 36 percent, followed by state Sen. André Jacque (R) at 15 percent and former state Sen. Roger Roth (R) at 12 percent. Around 37% were undecided.

According to a source close to former President Trump’s family, the Trump camp encouraged Bruesewitz to run for office in the area. Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Trump aide and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, told The Hill that Bruesewitz is “selfless and always puts what’s best for President Trump and the MAGA movement as a whole ahead of what’s best for himself.”

“We will be behind whatever decision he makes 100%,” she said.

Meanwhile, a source close to Wied told The Hill that there would be a “big announcement coming Monday.”

“Tony is humbled by the outpouring of support from patriots in the district encouraging him to run for this seat and [he’s] grateful for Alex Bruesewitz’s friendship and desire to get WI-8 the America First representation they deserve,” according to the source.

According to a source familiar, the news will be made during a Bruesewitz-hosted event in Green Bay.

Ahead of Wied’s scheduled statement, Trump declared on his Truth Social media platform that he will back the former Wisconsin gas station chain owner.

“After selling his highly profitable oil and gas business, Tony Wied has decided to run for Congress in Wisconsin’s 8th congressional district. Tony is running against RINO Roger Roth, a ‘clone’ of Paul Ryan and no fan of MAGA – He should resign out of the race immediately,” Trump stated.

“As your next Congressman, Tony will work hard to unleash American energy, stop inflation, secure our borders, support our military and veterans, and protect the Second Amendment, which is constantly under attack. Tony Wied has my complete and total endorsement; he will not let you down.”

Gallagher, a rising Republican star, announced earlier this year that he would not seek reelection to the House. However, he accelerated his retirement last month by announcing his resignation on April 19.

Gallagher stated in February that the Framers meant for individuals to serve in Congress for a season before returning to their private life. “Electoral politics was never supposed to be a career, and trust me, Congress is no place to grow old.”

Gallagher’s statement came just days after he and two other House Republicans voted against impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, thwarting Republicans’ efforts to remove the Biden administration official. About a week later, House Republicans attempted to impeach Mayorkas a second time.

Gallagher’s early retirement implies that his position will become vacant. Jacque and Roth are also running in the Republican primary, while OB-GYN Kristin Lyerly is running on the Democratic side.

Trump carried the district by more than 15 points in 2020, so the winner of the GOP primary is widely seen as the overwhelming frontrunner to represent the district.

According to a source acquainted with the Trump-aligned GOP consultant, attendees will include AmeriLux International CEO Kurt Voss, furniture retailer Jim Greene, and one of Plexus Corp’s executives.

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