Chamber to host online forum for 85th Assembly District candidates

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 8:58 AM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce will host a live-streamed forum Thursday night at 7 p.m. between the candidate in the 85th Assembly District.

The public is invited to watch. You must register in advance at

The candidates are Patrick Snyder (R-Incumbent) and Jeff Johnson (D). The winner of the election will serve a two-year term.

Wisconsin’s 85th Assembly District includes the City of Schofield, City of Wausau, Town of Bevent, Town of Easton, Town of Elderon, Town of Franzen, Town of Norrie, Town of Reid, Town of Ringle, Town of Wausau, Town of Weston, Village of Elderon, Village of Hatley and Village of Rothschild.

The virtual forum that took place was civil and organized as Republican Incumbent Representative Patrick Snyder and Democratic Candidate Jeff Johnson had a chance to discuss multiple topics varying from education to COVID-19 response, economic growth, tax climate among others.

The 90 minute virtual forum for Wisconsin’s 85th assembly district Thursday gave candidates a chance to hear from the public and discuss the issues

“It’s always been about trying to look out for others and try to make the world a better place for all of us and that’s why I’m running now because I believe we can be better,” 85th Assembly District Democratic Candidate Jeff Johnson said.

The government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was the first topic, which brought about mixed responses from both Johnson and Snyder.

“We put aside $75 million that the governor could use at his discretion or other areas besides the $1.9 billion that he received from the government,” 85th Assembly District Republican Incumbent Patrick Snyder said.

“There’s been a lack of cooperation because the republican legislature has failed to come to the table even when they’re called into session, they gavel in and they gavel out,” Johnson said.

The two also discussed the protection of employees during the pandemic as well as how to prioritize education.

“K through 12 funding is very important and it will be a priority in the next budget. That is an area that I would like to see some of the money be able to be appropriated to [teachers'] salaries,” Snyder said.

“End the voucher system. Now the voucher system last year accounted for $350 million from public schools and is being sent to private schools,” Johnson said.

Economic growth was one of the few issues both Snyder and Johnson could agree on, as both advocated for larger access to broadband internet saying it’s a must for education and working people in this day and age.

Johnson and Snyder agree that a larger access to high speed internet particularly in rural areas is not a luxury, but a necessity and will help boost the economy.

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