State Sen. Frank Lasee announces run for Ribble's seat

State Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere (Wis. Legis.)

GREEN BAY - State Sen. Frank Lasee announced Sunday he's planning to run for the state's 8th Congressional District.

"The number one goal is really serving the people of this district" said State Sen. Lasee, R-De Pere.

The Republican lawmaker was elected to the state Assembly 1994-2006. In 2010 he was elected into the state Senate and then re-elected in 2014.

"I think that I'm a proven conservative, I have a long record, a conservative record in Madison," said Lasee.

Lasee pointed to three issues he is focused on taking up in Washington if elected.

"It's the three things of national security, economic security, and balancing our budget," Lasee said.

Rep. Reid Ribble announced last month that he will not seek re-election.

He said in a statement, "My reasons are fairly simple and straightforward. I feel very fortunate to have a strong marriage, grown children, and three wonderful grandchildren. I want to dedicate more time to them. Additionally, I've always said elected office shouldn't be a career. I come from the private sector and am anxious to return to it and to a more private life."

The Republican served three terms.

Lasee probably won't be alone in his bid for Congress.

At the beginning of this month, FOX 11 reported Lasee and at least three area Republican lawmakers and a former Democratic state representative are thinking about running.

State Rep. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere; State Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette; and State Rep. David Steffen, R-Green Bay, all said they are thinking about running for the seat.

On the Democratic side, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, and former State Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber, D-Appleton, are also considering running.

"I think they are excellent candidates and I think they would do a wonderful job," said Rich Langan, the Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County.

Langan added in the coming weeks he expects more people to enter the race, including a democratic contender.

"We're going to put the best candidate forward because this is a very important election for democrats, we need to get that seat back," said Langan.

Two years ago state Democrats accused Lasee and his family of living outside of his district at a home they own in Racine.

At the time, Lasee considered the complaint frivolous [and] designed to bully his family and take voters' attention away from the issues that are most important.

The deadline to enter the race for Congress is June 1, 2016.