At least half a dozen GOP state lawmakers are looking at a run for the 8th CD now that incumbent Reid Ribble, R-Sherwood, has announced he will not seek re-election this fall.
Meanwhile, Outagamie County Exec Tom Nelson, a former Dem lawmaker who ran for lt. guv in 2010, says he has received calls urging him to run and he owes "it to those family, friends and supporters to give this opportunity to continue to serve Northeast Wisconsin due consideration."
He touted his work as county exec, including a stable tax rate, AAA bond rating and economic growth he attributed to "the lost art of bipartisanship and working together, an approach that would serve the US Congress well."
Those taking a look at the race on the GOP side include: state Sen. Frank Lasee, of De Pere; state Rep. John Macco, of Ledgeview; state Rep. John Nygren, of Marinette; state Sen. Roger Roth, of Appleton; and state Rep. Dave Steffen, of Green Bay.
State Rep. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere, said he is watching to see how the field develops and likely would get in only if he's disappointed with the crop of GOP candidates.
Also, GOP sources have said Michael Gallagher, who was an adviser to Gov. Scott Walker's presidential campaign, has been making calls about a bid.
Lasee and Roth would not have to give up their seats for a bid, and Lasee said he'll talk with family and constituents while also praying about a run. He didn't have a hard timeframe for a decision.
"Looking at the federal government, there's a lot to do there to move in a whole different direction," he said.
Roth finished second to Ribble in a four-way GOP primary for the seat in 2010. Roth said he hopes to have a decision on a bid this week.
"I want to give it careful consideration," he said. "At the same time, I know there's an urgency to get this done."
Nygren, co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, said family will be a major consideration as he weighs a bid.
He has authored a series of bills to battle opiate addiction and has been open about his daughter's struggles. He said things are going great for Cassie Nygren and he wants to be part of her life as she makes positive changes. Meanwhile, his other children are a senior and freshman in high school.
"My concern is we wouldn't have as much of those family opportunities if I decide to run for Congress," Nygren said. "That's first and foremost."
Macco won his Assembly seat in 2014 after losing a 2012 bid for the state Senate. He was traveling back to Wisconsin today and said he hadn't had a chance to discuss a bid with his wife.
"The biggest driver for me is what would be an objective, a good reason for me to want to go and serve in the federal government as opposed to what I'm able to do here," he said.
Steffen said as he weighs a bid "by far the most important thing will be: Is it the right time for my family?"
Several possible candidates have ruled out bids. That includes Dem state Reps. Eric Genrich, of Green Bay, and Amanda Stuck, of Appleton, both of whom told WisPolitics.com today they won't run.