Wisconsin congressman Mike Gallagher hints death threats may be behind his early resignation

The Wisconsin Republican, 40, said that while he had ‘signed up’ for such threats and ‘late-night swatting’, his family had not

Mike Bedigan
Thursday 18 April 2024 23:21 BST
FT: Mike Gallagher Leading U.S. Delegation to Taiwan

US Representative Mike Gallagher has hinted that the death threats he has received while in office have played a part in his decision to step down early.

The Wisconsin Republican, 40, said that while he had “signed up” for such threats and “late-night swatting” his family had not, and that he wanted to prioritise them.

In February Mr Gallagher – who represents the state’s Eighth Congressional District, announced that he would not be seeking a fifth term. Last month he said that he would be resigning early, effective 19 April.

A statement from Mr Gallagher on 22 March read: "Four terms serving Northeast Wisconsin in Congress has been the honor of a lifetime and strengthened my conviction that America is the greatest country in the history of the world.

“I will forever be proud of the work I did on the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, chairing the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, and chairing the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party. It has truly been an honor to serve in the House of Representatives."

The announcement came just days after he bucked his party, voting against the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Last month Mr Gallagher announced he said that he would be resigning early from his congressional position, effective 19 April (Getty Images)

Although he didn’t mention the vote contributing to his decision, he later said: “Electoral politics was never supposed to be a career and, trust me, Congress is no place to grow old.”

On Tuesday Mr Gallagher chaired a hearing of the House Select Committee on China concerning the country’s possible connection to fentanyl overdose deaths in the US – one of his last congressional acts.

Following the hearing he discussed the end of his time in office on Friday, telling reporters: “This is more just me wanting to prioritise being with my family.

"I signed up for the death threats and the late-night swatting, but they did not. And for a young family, I would say this job is really hard.”

According to WLUK, it is unclear if Mr Gallagher was referring to any specific incident with his remarks. The outlet later confirmed through the Brown County Sheriff’s Office that a case number was assigned late last year to a swatting incident related to the congressman.

Mr Gallagher told WLUK that he and his wife had been discussing the decision “for a long time”.

“We have a young family, we want to grow that family and this job is uniquely unsuited to that project [and] it’s definitely getting harder to be away from my daughters,” he said.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in