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New U.S. Representative, New Protests In Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District

Chuck Quirmbach
Nikki Etter of Indivisible Tosa (left) speaks with a member of Rep. Scott Fitzgerald's staff Wednesday in Brookfield.

Wisconsin's newest member of Congress — Rep. Scott Fitzgerald — joined the rest of the state's Republican House members Wednesday in a failed attempt to prevent the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

It was the latest in a series of controversial votes by Fitzgerald, a former state Senator, who has only served in Congress about ten days after being elected in the suburban 5th Congressional District in November. He replaced retiring Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

Fitzgerald's home office in Brookfield is the same one Sensenbrenner used to occupy. That made it easy for ten protestors to find and visit Wednesday morning.

Nikki Etter of Indivisible Tosa knocked on the outer door of Fitzgerald’s office. Etter eventually had three brief, but polite, conversations with a staffer who opened the door a little and gave her name as Danielle. Etter dropped off a basket with hundreds signed postcards urging Fitzgerald to take moderate or progressive votes on some issues and to hold a town hall meeting.

But outside the building, Etter made it clear she's not happy with the new congressman.

"Frankly, I think Scott Fitzgerald is a disgrace to Wisconsin, and I think the people of the 5th district deserve better,” said Etter.

Wednesday's event was one of several held by Indivisible chapters around the U.S. in the last few days, as the groups partly focus on Republicans like Fitzgerald, who voted against accepting election results from Arizona and Pennsylvania last week.  

Credit Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM
Members of various Indivisible chapters gather outside the Brookfield building where U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald has his home office.

John Norcross of Oconomowoc, representing Indivisible Lake Country, also wanted Fitzgerald to vote for Trump's impeachment.

"It's a tall order in this district, from that representative. But that's the ask. That is the right thing,” said Norcross.

After Fitzgerald's later vote against impeachment, he issued a statement that read:

“It is ridiculous and irresponsible for Speaker Pelosi to rush an impeachment through the House of Representatives without the results of an investigation or substantive congressional debate on the issue.  If the Speaker was truly interested in healing the divisions in our country, then she would not be calling for this drastic and unprecedented action. The Speaker has turned this process into political theater that will not help the nation move forward. The American people deserve better.”

Looking ahead, protestor Lynn Carey of the group Grassroots Germantown said she, at least, wants the House member to know his critics are paying attention.

"We are not just sitting back and saying, 'Well it's a conservative district, there's no way we can make a difference.’ Maybe there is,'' she said.

Fitzgerald's press aide did not respond to WUWM’s request for comment about the Brookfield protest. But the he is scheduled to answer questions at midday Thursday, during a virtual forum with the website Wispolitics.com.

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