U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy to resign in September, citing family health concern

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) talks to the crowd before U.S. President Donald Trump makes an appearance at a rally on October 24, 2018 in Mosinee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Andy Manis/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, the Republican who represents central and western Wisconsin in Congress, says he will resign next month because his ninth child due in October has a heart condition.

"With much prayer, I have decided that this is the right time for me to take a break from public service in order to be the support my wife, baby and family need right now," Duffy said in a Facebook post. "It is not an easy decision – because I truly love being your congressman – but it is the right decision for my family, which is my first love and responsibility."

Duffy's resignation on Sept. 23 will trigger a special election in Wisconsin's seventh congressional district. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' spokeswoman said Evers is reviewing the laws to decide when to set the election date, news reports indicate.

Duffy, who was first elected in 2010, gained prominence as a fierce defender of President Donald Trump. His district was once considered a swing seat in Congress, but has turned deep red in recent years.

Duffy won his 2018 re-election campaign with 61 percent of the vote.

He had considered challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2018, but ultimately decided against a Senate bid. Duffy also cited family priorities in that decision. For years, he has been rumored as a future Republican candidate for Wisconsin governor.

Duffy has one of the largest campaign war chests of any member of Congress from the Upper Midwest: as of June 30, his campaign reported having $2.2 million on hand.