Tuesday, August 14th
By CCMC Editors
Two legislative seats are up for grabs this Tuesday, August 14. This primary will determine which Republican candidate will run against Tammy Baldwin for the US Senate seat of retiring Democrat Senator Herb Kohl. Tuesday will also choose candidates to face off for the newly created 37th District Wisconsin Assembly seat.
Tuesday's primary and November's general election will continue to shape the political dialogue of our state and our nation.
U. S. Senate
Four Republican candidates are vying for the nod to face Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) in November’s General Election. According to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the group of republicans is “the best field of primary candidates in the country and probably the best we've seen in years.”
Walker has refused to personally endorse any of the four candidates and has recently lamented some of the negative political attacks. “I don't think there could be a clearer contrast between the four of them and Baldwin and yet you hear next to nothing about that," said Walker. "Sadly, the campaign has kind of boiled down to a handful of petty issues amongst, mainly, three of the four candidates.”
One candidate, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, has steadfastly refused to use negative campaign tactics.
A brief biography with informational links for each Republican candidate follows (the democrat candidate, Tammy Baldwin is unopposed):
45 year old Jeff Fitzgerald lives in Horicon, Wisconsin with his wife Andrea and two children. Before he began serving in the Wisconsin Assembly, Fitzgerald owned and operated two small businesses and worked at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He graduated from University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh with a degree in Journalism.
Elected 5 times since 2000 to represent the 39th district (including Beaver Dam and Juneau), Fitzgerald became Speaker of the Assembly in 2011-2012 and was instrumental in assisting Scott Walker’s legislative agenda.
48 year old Eric Hovde lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two daughters. Hovde has never run for public office. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin– Madison with a degree in economics. Hovde has started his own financial advisory firm and owns several banks. Currently, he serves as CEO for Hovde Properties, LLC. in Madison, Wisconsin.
After living in Washington, D.C. for 24 years, Hovde moved back to Madison to run for the open senate seat. Hovde is championing his experience in private sector economics and finance.
58 year old Mark Neumann and his wife Sue live in Nashotah, Wisconsin and have three adult children. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater with a degree in Mathematics and also earned a master’s degree in supervision and instruction. After teaching High school math for several years, Neumann began a home building business, which he continues to run today.
In 1994 Neumann began a two-term tenure in the U. S. Congress representing Wisconsin’s First district. In 1998 Neumann gave up his house seat to unsuccessfully run for the U.S. Senate. Since the failed 1998 Senate bid, Neumann has operated his business and unsuccessfully attempted a run for Wisconsin’s governor chair in 2010. Mark Neumann touts his no non-sense fiscal conservatism as a remedy for America’s domestic problems.
70 year old Tommy Thompson and his wife Sue Ann live in Elroy, Wisconsin and have three adult children. Thompson graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison Law School. In 1996, Thompson began his long years of public service when he was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly. From 1987 until 2001 Thompson served as the Governor of Wisconsin.
From 2001 until 2005, Tommy Thompson served as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services under President Bush and in 2008 briefly attempted a run for the Republican presidential nomination. Thompson believes his experience and connections in Washington will immediately make him an influential member of the U.S. Senate.
Recent polls show a tight 3 way race between Thompson, Neumann, and Hovde with Fitzgerald trailing but not far behind and over 20% of voters still undecided one week before the primary.
Seven individuals, 5 republicans and 2 democrats, are contending for a spot on the general election ballot this Novemember in a newly created 37th State Assembly District. Brief biographies with informational links for each candidate follows:
Watertown resident, Jim Braughler currently is a librarian at L.D. Fargo Library in Lake Mills. The 52 year old Braughler graduated from Maranatha Baptist Bible College with a BS and MAT degree and taught high school courses for 24 years. Braughler has elected governmental experience as a part of the Jefferson County Board and Watertown Common Council.
43 year old Watertown resident, John Jagler most recently was employed as director of Communications for Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald. Prior to working at the state capitol, for 15 years Jagler was a morning news announcer on Milwaukee’s WTMJ 620. Jagler has never served in an elective office.
Watertown resident, 59 year old Steve Kauffeld has worked in the community for 37 years as a line clearance arborist. This is Kauffeld’s first attempt at securing an elective office.
73 year old Romlein has lived in the area since 1977 and has resided in the city for two years. Romlein attended the Lawrence Institute of Technology in Detroit, Mich., and the University of Denver in majoring in electrical engineering. For a number year he ran a professional engineering firm. MIS Labs. James Romlein is currently a member of the Watertown Common Council.
Watertown resident Chris Ruetten graduate from University of Wisconsin–Platteville in 1999 with a degree in animal sciences and currently is employed as a land surveyor. The 35 year old Ruetten has never before run for public office.
64 year old Mary Arnold moved to the Columbus area in 2009 after serving as a social worker in the Steven’s Point area for 19 years. Arnold holds a master’s degree in social work from California State University-Sacramento and is currently the Vice President of the Columbus School Board.
A Waterloo resident since 2006, Laura Cotting is currently a consultant specializing in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and a business analyst. She holds a MS degree in Natural Resources Management-Wildlife Management and has been a member of the Waterloo City Council for 5 years.
Be informed and vote on Tuesday, August 14. Without a doubt, the primary results will significantly shape the political dialogue during this important election year.