MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A second Republican with little name recognition is entering the U.S. Senate race to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, whose 2024 push for reelection is expected to be one of the most closely watched Senate contests in the nation.
Trempealeau County Board Supervisor Stacey Klein filed to run on Tuesday and said she would make a formal announcement on Saturday. Klein, who has three siblings in the military, said she “always had a desire to serve in a big way.”
“We know it’s going to be a big effort,” Klein said in a telephone interview. “Definitely not being naive about that.”
Klein, 41, grew up on a dairy farm in western Wisconsin and works as a financial adviser. She was elected to the Trempealeau County Board in April 2022.
Klein joins Rejani Raveendran, a 40-year-old college student and chair of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College Republicans, as the only announced Republican candidates. Baldwin, who won by more than 10 percentage points in 2018, is seeking a third term as Democrats seek to retain control of the narrowly divided Senate.
Several other higher-profile Republicans have decided against taking on Baldwin next year. U.S. Reps. Mike Gallagher and Tom Tiffany have both opted against a run. Other Republicans considering getting in the race include Madison businessman and 2012 Senate candidate Eric Hovde, Franklin businessman Scott Mayer and former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.
Klein said she had a 72-county strategy for winning and was scheduling meetings with large donors.
“I won’t be able to self-fund,” she told The Associated Press. “I know that’s another reason I was approached. Some feel that they’re ready for somebody that’s more relatable to them and their finances.”