State Rep. Jerry Petrowski (R-Stettin) has announced he'll run for the 29th Senate seat in the upcoming recall election. The seat is open following Pam Galloway's announcement to resign last week, citing family health issues.
Petrowski will run against State Rep. Donna Seidel (D-Wausau) on May 8. No primary election will be held unless another candidate steps forward.
The announcement was made at noon Wednesday at G3 Industries, Inc. in Kronenwetter, but it wasn't exactly a surprise.
Petrowski has said he's always had an interest in the Senate and Governor Scott Walker told reporters last week he wanted Petrowski to run.
State Rep. Mary Williams (R-Medford) had also been mentioned as a possible candidate, but says she will only be on the campaign trail to supporter her colleague and friend, Jerry Petrowski.
Williams says Petrowski has a gift to find compromise which is what we need in the Senate.
Petrowski has been in the State Assembly since 1998, and has lived in the district all his life. He told a group of supporters that he's an optimist who isn't about partisan politics.
"Legislators need to spend more time actively working on solutions to problems instead of bickering about partisan politics," he said.
Petrowski has voted to eliminate collective bargaining rights for most public workers, for legislative redistricting and for concealed carry rights. He also voted to protect the state's transportation fund.
He says as a senator he would focus on keeping jobs we do have and doing everything he can to create more jobs, to continue to balance the budget and find ways to do more with less.
"I believe as your state senator I will have the opportunity to have an even greater impact on our community and our families in Central and North Central Wisconsin.," he said.
Rep. Donna Seidel welcomes Petrowski to the race. She says the campaign will give voters the chance to learn more about Petrowski's voting record.
"I'm very eager for forums and debates so we can talk to people throughout the district and let them discover what the differences are between me and with Rep. Petrowski," she said.
Seidel was first elected to the State Assembly in 2004, and represents the 85th Assembly District.
She says it doesn't matter if she's running against Galloway or Petrowski, because both pushed an agenda that many voters reject.
"This is about policies that have been advanced by the majority party," she said. "Polices that Pam Galloway advanced and supported are identical to policies that Jerry Petrowski has supported and voted for."
Seidel says she wants to make sure our kids continue to receive quality education and everyone has access to affordable health care.
She also wants to see a return to the state's tradition of clean, open government.
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