Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy has announced he will step down from Congress due to be home with his family amid complications with his wife’s pregnancy.
The former The Real World cast member, 47, announced the surprising news on Facebook. Duffy wrote that he will step down from his position as U.S. Representative for Wisconsin’s 7th congressional district effective Sept. 23 so that he can care for his wife, fellow Real World alum Rachel Campos-Duffy, and their eight kids as they await the birth of their ninth child in late October.
In a lengthy post, Duffy explained why he was giving up his public service post after eight and a half years, noting that it has been difficult to be away from his family to travel to Washington four days a week. The reality TV veteran also explained that and his wife recently found out that their baby daughter will need extra love, time, and attention “due to complications, including a heart condition.”
Duffy’s heartbreaking revelation resulted in a swift reaction on Twitter. Several friends from the political world, as well as celebrities like Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Kristy Swanson, took to Twitter to offer the Duffy family their support and prayers as they prepare for the arrival of their baby girl. Duffy’s wife also shared a message about her husband, which you can see below.
@RepSeanDuffy and @RCamposDuffy are wonderful people and decision to focus on medical challenges with new baby shows priorities in right order. He will be missed in Congress. One of the truly good guys! May God be with you both. https://t.co/Durfh6Spjw— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) August 26, 2019
Saddened by the news that @RepSeanDuffy & Rachel’s soon-to-be-born baby girl will experience significant health challenges. Fully understand and respect Sean’s decision to devote his full time and attention to his family. I ask everyone keep Sean and his family in your prayers.— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) August 26, 2019
.@RepSeanDuffy is a great Member of Congress, and he has surely made the state of Wisconsin proud. He will be missed. I’ll be praying for Sean, Rachel, and their entire family.— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) August 26, 2019
Since the first time I met him, it was clear to me that @RepSeanDuffy was a great husband, father, and a dedicated representative for the people of Wisconsin.— Rep. Mike Gallagher (@RepGallagher) August 26, 2019
Duffy himself later replied that he appreciates the messages, but that he is still hopeful for the future.
I so appreciate all the kind messages from everyone but I’m not dead. Feeling hopeful and looking forward to what the future holds ????????????— Sean Duffy (@RepSeanDuffy) August 26, 2019
View this post on Instagram
I am so proud of my husband for having the courage to put our baby and our family first. What has made him a great Congressman are the same things that make him a great husband and dad. Knowing how much Sean loves Wisconsin and America, I know he will not go quietly into the night. He’ll continue to fight for America in different, new and exciting ways. But for now, our focus is on a little, beautiful American girl who is yet to be born. Once we bring her safely into the world and get her healthy and acclimated to our crazy, big family, we’ll see what else God has in store for us. Thank you to every single person who has helped Sean’s campaign, prayed for our family, and fought with us to save America and the American Dream. We are always amazed by your love, generosity, and patriotism. Sean, I could not be more proud of your almost 9 years of service to our country. You did it all with dignity, compassion, and a fun-loving energy that made everyone want to be a part of what you were doing! To all of Sean’s team and supporters, may God bless you all and please continue to keep the Duffys in your prayers! ????????❤️
In May, Rachel Campos-Duffy, a Fox News contributor who once vied for a spot on ABC’s The View panel, announced on Instagram that she and her husband were expecting their ninth child this fall.
“Don’t tell us we’re crazy. We prefer brave and full of hope for America’s future!” she wrote.
While Campos-Duffy’s high-risk pregnancy at age 47 raised some eyebrows, the mom-of-eight said that “there’s always room in our house” for more, per People.
In an interview with the National Review, Campos- Duffy revealed that she never set out to have nine kids and that none of her pregnancies were “planned.”
“To be honest, this last one was kind of a surprise,” the TV personality admitted. “I thought I was getting a little old. But apparently not!”
Still, the Catholic couple has received some backlash over their large family, with Campos-Duffy saying she was even once called “an environmental terrorist” by haters.
Rachel Campos, a Real World: San Francisco veteran, met her future husband while filming MTV’s Road Rules: All-Stars in 1998. Sean Duffy previously appeared on The Real World: Boston, which was the sixth season of the MTV reality show.
The couple married in 1999 and have since welcomed eight children ranging in age from 19 to 3 — Evita Pilar, Patrick Miguel, Margarita, Maria-Victoria, Paloma, John-Paul, Lucia-Belén, and Xavier Jack.