While many people took the long Labor Day weekend to relax and take in some local activities, candidates in the up coming November elections were out working the crowds on Monday. In particular, 7th District Congressional candidates Sean Duffy and Kelly Westlund came out to Wausau's annual Labor Day Parade.
The recent Marquette Polls show Wisconsin's voters are nearly split down the middle when it comes to Republican and Democratic views, and if that's any indication for the congressional race, it is going to be a close one. The Labor Day holiday and Thursday's job report showing sluggish growth in Wisconsin put labor as the topic of the day.
"I think we're improving. I think we have to go more quickly across the country, we're not going fast enough, but we are going in the right direction," said Duffy. "So though it's getting better, we still have a long ways to go to make sure that everyone who wants to get back to work, actually can get back to work."
"The latest report shows that we are creating new jobs, but it's not happening nearly as quickly as it needs to," said Westlund. "We have a lot of work to do and honestly, I think that we need better leadership."
They both said creating more jobs is key.
"We can't just create any jobs," said Westlund, "we have to make sure that these are jobs that pay well enough for families that support themselves so that anyone and everyone in this country can have the opportunity to build a secure economic future."
"I think that's an important conversation. Not where are we at at the minimum, but where are we at at the middle and high end jobs in our 7th Congressional District," said Duffy, "I'm going to keep fighting to make sure there's more of those jobs available for the people who want to go back to work."
Though they seem to agree on that, their methods of how to get there differ.
"It is rules, regulations, and tax reform that will help make us more competitive, but it's also, if you look at the jobs we have in our district, a lot of them are manufacturing jobs," said Duffy, "so to make sure that we have a skilled workforce is really important, so those folks who want to have an opportunity have the skill set to take advantage of the jobs that are available."
"What we need is investment in education, in our infrastructure, public safety and our emergency services, those are all things that create good-paying jobs that are also the foundation for further commerce. We can't build a country on crumbling infrastructure," said Westlund.
Both candidates plan to get out to as many public events and meet voters as they can before election day in November.