Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court Justice Tricia Zunker will face off against GOP challenger in Wisconsin's 7th congressionl district on May 12. Courtesy photo

WAUSAU, Wis. Voters in Wisconsin’s 7th congressional district gave Tricia Zunker, a tribal citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a landslide victory on Tuesday in a special primary election to replace retired Congressman Sean Duffy. 

Promoting herself as “Voice for the People”, Zunker earned a convincing win against challenger Lawrence Dale. As of Wednesday morning, with 99 percent of the votes reporting, Zunker won 35,564 votes (89 percent) to Dale’s 4,473 (11 percent).

Zunker campaigned on the theme that she would represent the people, not the corporate interests.

“I care about people. I care about other people's grandparents. I care about other people's children. I care about the environment and I care about people having opportunities and I think that this is a message that will resonate across party lines,” Zunker told her supporters in her victory speech.

Zunker will face off against Republican Tom Tiffany, currently a state senator, in the May 12 special election.

If elected on May 12, Zunker will be the third American-Indian woman elected to Congress and the second Ho-Chunk to be elected to Congress.

Zunker is an associate justice of the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court, a law professor, and currently serves as president of the Wausau School Board.

Last week, the Wisconsin AFL-CIO endorsed Zunker. She was previously endorsed by the United SteelWorkers District 2 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 388.

“We can count on Tricia Zunker to be a voice for all working people in Wisconsin. As an Associate Justice of the Ho-Chunk Supreme Court and president of the Wausau School Board, Zunker has the experience needed to bring people together to focus on creating good, union jobs and economic opportunity for this generation and the next,” Stephanie Bloomingdale, president of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO said.

Tricia Zunker holds up left arm in victory! Courtesy of Zunker campaign.

The May 12 special election is expected to draw national attention because the 7th congressional district is competitive. The district covers 26 counties in Wisconsin—about a third of the state and is one of the largest geographical congressional districts east of the Mississippi. It is also considered a battleground district. The congressional seat was held by a Democrat from 1969 to 2011. Since then, the seat swung to the Republican side.

President Donald Trump won the state by a slim margin of 22,748 votes over Hillary Clinton and the 7th congressional district seat is considered a battleground district, the special election is being watched nationally to see if there has been a shift from Republican to Democrat.

Several tribal nations are located within the congressional district. They include: Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Forest County Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk Nation, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Sokaogon Chippewa (Mole Lake), and St. Croix Chippewa.

Regardless of who wins on May 12, the winner will have to run for reelection in November’s general election.

CLICK to go to Tricia for Wisconsin website

More Stories Like This

Not Invisible Act Hearing Gathers Testimony on MMIP Cases
Nevada Man Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail for Fatal Car Accident that Killed Paiute Filmmaker Myron Dewey
MMIP Red Dress Installation Vandalized in Alaska
NCAI Mid Year Underway on Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Homelands
Native News Weekly (June 3, 2023): D.C. Briefs

Native News is free to read.

We hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps.  Most readers donate between $10 and $25 to help us cover the costs of salaries, travel and maintaining our digital platforms. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to join the Founder's Circle. All donations help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].