The primary season is over. But before we move on I think we must first pause and thank the people who ran in the Democratic primaries and did not win. Both Joel Lewis (Democratic candidate for the 7th Congressional District seat) and John Small (Democratic candidate for the 86th Assembly seat) ran spirited campaigns. We must thank them for putting themselves in the public arena and for making their opponents better candidates for the general election.
We now have our full slate of candidates and it is hard not to feel optimistic about success in November. At the top of the ticket we have Hillary Clinton, one of the most experienced and knowledgeable candidates ever running for President and the bright, courageous and tested, Russ Feingold, looking to retake his Senate seat. Both are polling well in the state. And although we know polls can change quickly the early leads heighten hopes for gains down ballot.
The 7th Congressional District Democratic candidate is Mary Hoeft. She has notable strengths. She has a substantial resume, knows the issues, has strong public speaking skills, and has a tenacious attitude. While her opponent has taken more money from Wall Street than he can ever spend in an election and is an ardent support of Donald Trump, Mary will take every opportunity to speak powerfully for Main Street.
The 85th and 86th Wisconsin State Assembly Democratic candidates are, respectively, Mandy Wright and Nancy Stencil. They have both been non-stop, hard-at-it for months. Both have a cadre of committed volunteers at the core of their campaign. Mandy looks to reclaim her assembly seat and Nancy is going to take a run at unseating an incumbent Republican.
At the Marathon County government level we have four candidates seeking office. First there are three candidates running for the first time: Theresa Wetzsteon for District Attorney; Connie Beyersdorf for Treasurer; and Jeff Johnson for Register of Deeds. The fourth candidate is Nan Kottke who is the incumbent County Clerk and familiar name on the ballot.
These are all great candidates who are deserving of your time, energy, and money. We have a great opportunity to perform well in this election but nothing is assured. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks. If you are interested in volunteering please contact our office and we will find a place to put your talents to work.
The Democratic Party has been operating the Coordinated Campaign from the Marathon County Democratic Office on 3rd Avenue for the past few months. They have now moved the office to a new location on a more visible street.
The new address is:
330 Grand Ave
The easiest way to contact the office is by calling 971-330-6574 and asking for Colin. Most of the staging for Hillary Clinton and Russ Feingold’s campaigns will take place at this location. Mandy Wright and Nancy Stencil will be primarily located at the Marathon County Democratic Office at 833 S. 3rd Ave in Wausau.
September 1—Women for Women 6:00-7:30 PM at the Dem Office. Featuring Julie Burmesch, co-chair of Marathon County Early Childhood Coalition.
September 5—Labor Day Parade. Come march with us
September 8—Nancy Stencil Event at Christine Bremer’s Office. 5:15-8:00 PM
September 8—Mandy Wright’s Educators Event at the National Historical Society. 6:00-8:00 PM
September 15—Membership meeting at the Dem Office. 6:00 PM
September 20—AAUW presents Wisconsin Public School Funding with Mary Jarvis at UWMC Terrace Room. Free and open to the public. 4:00 PM
September 22—video “A Time for Justice” put out by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Shown at the UU Church at 6:00 PM. Open and Free to the public.
October 6—Women for Women. Come meet the candidates night. 6:00 PM
Mary Hoeft, running to represent the 7th Congressional District in Washington, is a professor of Communication Arts and French at the University of Wisconsin-Barron County in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Her daughter Kelly is a law enforcement officer in Madison and her son Ryan, also an officer, died serving the people of St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
Hoeft is a Fulbright Scholar, author, and Wisconsin Idea Fellow who was awarded the Chancellor’s Career Award for Teaching Excellence. In her community, Hoeft served two terms on the Rice Lake School Board and was President of the Board of Directors of Barron County Restorative Justice Programs She also served as a conference facilitator for Restorative Justice.
Hoeft’s candidacy for Congress is endorsed by Congressman Dave Obey who served the 7th Congressional District for more than 40 years. Congressman Obey wrote that “Mary has the qualities necessary to be our strongest candidate.” Obey describes Hoeft as a “meat and potatoes” candidate. Hoeft agrees, saying that she is energized by the opportunity to take Sean Duffy on and confront him on his failure to meet the needs of citizens in the 7th Congressional District.
Hoeft asks, “Where is Duffy as the Eau Pleine Reservoir is overcome with algae? Where is he as our infrastructure crumbles? How is it that Duffy can deny climate change as scientists worldwide warn that we must find solutions now?” Hoeft said it is time to have a congressional representative who listens to the concerns of the people; a representative who responds with “I have heard you and I will do something” instead of “That’s not my issue.”
Hoeft is deeply concerned about our economy and how our economy impacts the ability of university students to be students. Mary said, “My students work fulltime jobs to support parents and siblings. Sean Duffy’s focus is on Wall Street, not on students struggling to make it through college. He has voted repeatedly in support of a Paul Ryan budget that poses a grave threat to Social Security, Healthcare, and Education while offering no alternatives. The citizens of the 7th Congressional District deserve better. When I decided to run for Congress, that decision was based on my desire to make life better for the people of the 7th Congressional District. I will work relentlessly to achieve that goal.”
I was born and raised in Marathon County. Dad was in the Marines during my childhood and mom was a swing shift factory worker at Wausau Papers. Life was rough, because of our mom’s schedule and an absent father, but we still had enough to get by. Our mother was able to afford a mortgage, food, medical and dental needs.
In my lifetime, I have watched this possibility go away. Now, in order to make that kind of money, you must go to college. My sister has more student loan debt than she will ever be able to pay off. We need politicians who care about the working class; Politicians who realize that a strong middle class means a strong country. I realize this because I have watched it change in my lifetime. I have worked very hard during my life and if you send me to DC, I will work very hard for the citizens of Wisconsin.
Joel A. Lewis