Why I’m Running

On Government and Service

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Our government and our society seem so divided and polarized. People feel alienated from “the government” and are skeptical about the work it does. I don’t think it has to be that way. Lincoln really did say it best:  “Government of, by, and for the people.”  The heart of representative democracy rests in the citizens.   We elect neighbors to represent us and advocate for our concerns.  That ideal is the bedrock of our representative democracy.

Can anyone occupy elected office and be fundamentally against government?  That’s like trying to win a race by being against running. There are things we cannot do alone and must do together in community. Things like educating children, building roads, providing security, assuring justice, seeking fairness, stewarding our shared resources, caring for the vulnerable. These are good things, and working together to achieve them is necessary for any society to prosper.

My experiences on the Ashland City Council, my work to build quality, affordable housing and jobs through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Authority, and certainly my two terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly, have taught me that we must work beyond the things that may divide us and find that uncommon, common ground.   We need to make citizenship, not partisanship, our standard.  I believe we need to focus more on the next generation, not the next election.

I am often asked why I am running for Senate after two terms in the Assembly.   My answer, simply, is that I want to continue to serve – to give something back.  I have learned that my deep love of northern Wisconsin inspires me to do all I can to protect and strengthen our precious way of life.  My experience, my ability to get things done and work for common-sense solutions to real life problems, led me to run for this office. I hope you’ll join me and work together to build up our communities and shape a hope filled future.