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U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy Steps Down to Prioritize Needs of His Medically Complex Baby

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On Monday, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) announced on Facebook he will resign from Congress to prioritize his family after learning his baby will be born with serious health complications.

Duffy served in the House of Representatives for more than eight years, representing Wisconsin’s seventh district. He and his wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy, previously announced they were expecting their ninth child in October. After recently learning the baby will have serious health complications, Duffy said he decided to resign from his job to support his wife and family.

“Recently, we’ve learned that our baby, due in late October, will need even more love, time, and attention due to complications, including a heart condition,” Duffy wrote on Facebook, adding:

I have decided that this is the right time for me to take a break from public service in order to be the support my wife, baby and family need right now. It is not an easy decision – because I truly love being your Congressman – but it is the right decision for my family, which is my first love and responsibility.

Oftentimes, it is mothers who quit their jobs to support children with disabilities or complex medical needs. Though not everyone can afford to lose a partner’s income, Duffy’s decision shows fathers have an important role to play too, as Mighty contributor Kate Morrow shared in a letter to her husband following the complicated birth of her twins:

Being a micro-preemie mommy was an experience no other mother, not even my mother, could have taught me. I learned to become a mother on my own, step by step, with your love and support. In my own way, with your hand always in my hand. … 

I may have carried them. But darling, my love, you carried all three of us — every single day. With my deepest gratitude, thank you for carrying us through the most traumatic adventure of our lives. I wouldn’t have made it without you.

Duffy said his last day in Congress will be Sept. 23.

“After eight and a half years, the time has come for me to focus more on the reason we fight these battles – family,” Duffy said. “I will miss being your Congressman, but I am also looking forward to having more time with my family, being home for more birthdays and hockey games, and having time to enjoy and care for our new baby girl, who is already so loved by our family.”

Header image via Sean Duffy’s Facebook page

Originally published: August 26, 2019
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