The 71st State Assembly seat is up for grabs with current Democratic Incumbant Louis Molepski Jr. choosing not to run for another term. Now seven Democratic candidates will fight to the fill Molepski's seat.
In a race that began with nine prospective Democratic candidates, only seven remain.
Top priorities on all seven of their agendas include jobs, education and healthcare. Another thing they all agree on, the divisiveness on Madison must stop.
Corey Ladick currently works for a small community bank. He also has experience working in the State Legislature as a Legislative Assistant and as a Congressional Intern for Congressman Ron Kind.
If elected, Ladick told NewsChannel 7 "I'm absolutely going to fight for our local businesses and our local employers."
Next on the list of candidates is Hans Schmid. A former U.S. Soldier, Schmid served 8 years in the U.S. Army. Currently he is working for a non-profit community corrections facility helping OWI and drug offenders stay clean.
"My entire reason for running is to try and bring a more reasonable approach to politics," Schmid said.
Candidate number three is Andre Beveridge. Beveridge is the 1st District Alderperson for the City of Steven's Point and has a long history in the city. He recently graduated from the Lewis and Clark University with a law degree.
When asked about his top priorities if elected, Beveridge responded saying, "We need to make sure that education and the other services that middle class families need to get ahead are there and affordable."
Fellow candidate Laura Hauser-Menting agrees. As a single mom and, self-described, underemployed worker she knows there needs to be jobs. As a sales woman, she thinks she's up for the challenege of creating them.
"I'm a positive person and i've been able to work with people whether they've identified themselves as Republicans or independents or even Progressives," Hauser-Menting said.
Job creation is also a priority for Katrina Shankland.Shankland has a degree in political science from UW-Madison and has interned at the Marathon County Courthouse and for former Governor Jim Doyle. She also worked for the Democratic Party organizing the recall in four different counties, including Portage. Shankland now works at Midwest Renewable Energy Association.
Shankland believes job creation starts with eduction.
"In order to create jobs and to have a skilled workforce, we absolutely must fund our public schools. In addition to that, we need to insure everyone has access to affordable healthcare," Shankland told NewsChannel 7.
We reached out to the other two Democratic candidates, Jeri McGinley and David Verhage. McGinley did not return our calls and Verhage declined our request for an interview.
Two other names will also appear on the ticket for the Democratic Primary. Robert Steinke and Tom Mallison both ended their campaigns in July. But because ballots had already been printed their names will still appear as options.
The Democratic winner will face Patrick Testin, the Republican candidate, in the November election.
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