Along with the high-profile presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, voters will find a number of races of local interest on the Nov. 8 ballot.
In the 7th Congressional District, Incumbent Republican Sean Duffy faces a challenge from Democrat Mary Hoeft.
For the District 12 State Senate seat, Incumbent Republican Tom Tiffany is being challenged by Democrat Bryan Van Stippen.
In the 35th Assembly District race, Democrat Renea Frederick won a three-way primary in August to challenge incumbent Republican Mary Czaja in the general election.
For a U.S. Senate seat representing Wisconsin, Repubican Incumbent Ron Johnson is being challenged by Democrat Russ Feingold, who previously held the seat.
In Lincoln County races, Galen Bayne-Allison is the sole candidate for district attorney after winning the August primary over fellow Democrat Sidney Brubacher. Incumbent Don Dunphy has announced his retirement and is not seeking re-election.
Lincoln County Clerk Chris Marlowe, Lincoln County Treasurer Diana Petruzates and Lincoln County Register of Deeds Sarah Koss, all running on the Republican ticket, are unopposed on the November ballot.
The Foto News contacted candidates running in contested races to offer them an opportunity to introduce themselves and express their views. Their responses follow.
Note: 35th District Assembly incumbent Mary Czaja did not respond to our request for information.
Full Name: Sean Patrick Duffy
Birth Date: 10/3/1971
Family (spouse, children, grandchildren): My wife Rachel and I have eight children: Evita, Jack, Lucia-Belen, John-Paul, Paloma, Maria-Victoria, Margarita and Patrick.
Employment/Position: Husband, Dad, former Ashland County District Attorney, Representative for the people of Wisconsin’s Seventh Congressional District.
Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Representative for the people of Wisconsin’s Seventh Congressional District since 2010.
Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held: Roman Catholic and a member of Knights Of Columbus.
“One of the greatest privileges of my life is to work for the hardworking people of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District. Wisconsin is my home. I was born and raised in Hayward. I am the 10th of 11 siblings in a family stretching back five generations, steeped in Wisconsin’s lumber history. My great-grandfather was a sawyer and I worked my way through college competing in lumberjack exhibitions as a log roller and speed climber. My wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy, and I currently reside in Wausau, where we are raising our eight children: Evita, Jack, Lucia-Belen, John-Paul, Paloma, Maria-Victoria, Margarita, and Patrick. The 7th District spans 26 counties. I am proud to say I have conducted at least one town hall in all 26 counties every year since you elected me.
“Covering a district this large is no easy feat, but hearing from you is the most important part of my job. Across our district, I hear common concerns. First among them, creating a prosperous environment for job and wage growth so our children can grow up here and someday raise their families here too. I have worked to roll back burdensome federal regulations that disadvantage our rural communities and have helped bring accountability to federal agencies that are failing our veterans. I share your concerns about rising threats of terrorism and I am working with local law enforcement and military officials to make Americans safe.
“This Congress, I took on the role of chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations. I’ve led the charge to shed light on the egregious activity of some federal agencies: most recently the $1.3 billion taxpayer dollars the Administration sent — in cash — to Iran, and how federal regulators missed the disturbing culture of corruption at Wells Fargo for over four years. Also, I’ve been laser-focused on how Dodd-Frank’s financial regulations have hurt our local community banks, making it difficult for businesses and families to access credit and loans. Dodd-Frank is a classic example of big, centralized government hurting the little guys. I am proud to champion this fight for our rural communities.
“On the door of my office in Washington, D.C., hangs a sign that reads, ‘What good shall I do this day?’ Every day, I am fighting for the ideals that make America great. Over the last eight years, we’ve seen government grow and freedom and opportunities diminish. I’m fighting for your right to live the American dream, for your constitutional right to bear arms and for your right to free speech and religious liberty — liberties that have eroded because of government policies like Obamacare.
“I want to ensure that America remains the most prosperous, creative, innovative and generous country the world has ever known. Every day I work my heart out for the people I love and the place I care about. It would be my humble honor to continue that fight for another term as your representative for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District.”
Mary Hoeft (Democrat-Challenger)
Full Name: Mary Hoeft
Birth Date: 7/6/1949
Family (spouse, children, grandchildren): Daughter Kelly is police officer in Madison. Son Ryan was also a police officer who died in service to the people of St. Louis Park, Minn. Four grandchildren: Hannah, Tacoma, Phoenix and Rockton.
Employment/Position: Professor Emeritus of Communication Arts/French at the University of Wisconsin-Barron County.
Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Rice Lake School Board.
Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held: Past President of Board of Directors of Barron County Restorative Justice Programs (BCRJP). Volunteer Restorative Conference Facilitator for BCRJP, allowing victims to tell first-time juvenile offenders how the crime impacted their life and what they need to feel whole again, allowing offenders to make amends and have a second chance at life.
“My name is Mary Hoeft, your democratic candidate for Congress. My decision to run for office comes with the promise that I will work to improve the lives of the men, women, and children in our district.
“As a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Barron County, I personally witnessed the financial struggles of students who worked fulltime jobs to pay tuition and support moms and dads who were unemployed. When elected to office, I will support legislation making higher education affordable.
“K-12 education has been slashed by 20% over the last few years. These cuts are an effort by some to privatize education, making the best schools affordable only to the wealthiest. In Congress, I will fight against such efforts.
“Wisconsin ranks #1 among states with the most rapidly disappearing middle class. Tax incentives make it profitable for wealthy company owners to get richer by terminating the positions of more than 5 million Americans and sending their jobs overseas. When elected to office, I will support legislation that returns jobs to America.
“Social security is crucial to retirees. My opponent has voted to privatize social security, allowing Wall Street to gamble with and perhaps lose the money seniors depend upon for survival. I support legislation to strengthen social security. Americans who earn $40,000 make social security contributions on every penny they earn. Americans who earn $500,000 make contributions only on the first $118,500 they earn. That is unfair and I will work to change it.
“For many in our district, health insurance is unaffordable. I will fight for a single payer plan that eliminates high cost private providers and makes quality affordable healthcare available to all.
“America’s veterans are our heroes and deserve the best healthcare our country can provide. Two years ago, the most comprehensive healthcare bill for veterans ever to reach the floor of Congress was resoundingly defeated by Republicans. When elected to office, I will fight to make sure veterans’ healthcare is our nation’s top priority.
“My opponent denies climate change. I side with 97% of all climate scientists who agree we must act now to protect our planet. I support the carbon fee and dividend plan and encourage readers to learn more about it.
“My opponent has accepted millions of dollars from huge donors outside our district. He recently accepted more than $400,000 in political contributions from bankers, even though he chairs the banking oversight committee. I will fight to keep money out of politics.
“Our district has more dairy farmers than any other district in the country. The cost of milk has plummeted and they need our help. I will support emergency relief.
“Hardworking men and women earning $7.25 an hour, are now working two jobs in order to provide food and shelter for their families. I support a living wage.
“A vote for Mary Hoeft on Nov. 8 is a vote for a candidate who has heard your concerns and will work on your behalf.”
12th Senate Race- Tom Tiffany (Republican-Incumbent)
Full Name: Tom Tiffany
Birth Date: 12/30/1957
Family (spouse, children, grandchildren): Chris (wife) and three daughters.
Employment/Position: Owner of Wilderness Cruises, Dam Tender-WVIC.
Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Little Rice Town Board (2013); 35th Assembly (2010); 12th Senate (2012).
Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held: Currrent NRA-Ruffed Grouse Society; Past- Oneida County Economic Development Coordinator.
“It has been an honor to serve the people of the 12th Senate District over the last four years. When I was elected, I promised to balance the budget, hold the line on taxes, and get Wisconsin back to work. I am pleased to be able to say that I have delivered on these commitments.
“We eliminated a $3.6 billion deficit without raising taxes and our rainy day fund is the largest it’s ever been. Taxes are lower now than they were four years ago and more people are working in Wisconsin than ever before. This includes 17,000 individuals who have recently transitioned from food stamps to employment.
“Public school funding has steadily increased since 2012. I fought for increases in categorical aids, including High Cost Transportation Aid and Sparsity Aid, which directly help many of our rural schools. In fact, the Merrill Area School District received $106,000 in High Cost Transportation Aid this year and an extra $100 per student in categorical aid. Fabrication Labs have been started in many school districts with the help from state grants and are helping prepare our children for 21st Century jobs. We tripled the amount of Rural Broadband grants available to help expand broadband and much of it is being used right here in the 12th Senate District.
“There have been many successes but there is still more work to be done.
“My priorities for the next legislative session will be to return more transportation dollars to local government for road maintenance and repair, continue to expand broadband in Northern Wisconsin, and make sure our public schools are adequately funded.
“Northern Wisconsin needs a strong voice in Madison. Someone who can get things done and deliver results to the voters of the 12th Senate District. That is why I am asking for your vote on Nov. 8.”
Full Name: Bryan Van Stippen
Birth Date: 12/22/1973
Family (spouse, children, grandchildren): Colleen (wife); Charlotte (daughter).
Employment/Position: Legislative Attorney-Ho Chunk Nation.
Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Stevens Point City Council (04/15-01/16).
Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held: Lutheran, ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).
“Hi, my name is Bryan Van Stippen, and I am running to be your next State Senator from the Northwoods. I grew up on a dairy farm in Darboy, Wisconsin, a family farm that has been owned by my grandparents and parents for over 80 years. From these deep Wisconsin roots, I learned the importance of common sense, hard work, and integrity. These values that my family taught me growing up, provide the bedrock for my campaign for State Senate. Our campaign stands for restoring control to Wisconsin’s local communities so that citizens can have a greater say over the laws that most directly affect them – not politicians and bureaucrats in Madison.
“The same type of local communities that my grandfather and father had the honor to represent as elected officials. Everywhere I have lived, I tried to become part of the community; visiting local businesses, and being engaged in neighborhood events. Involvement in local communities is important to improving our cities, villages, and towns. Because of my grandfather and father, I strive to be a public servant, not a politician. Too often, these politicians stop representing their communities, and fall beholden to special interest lobbyists. I pledge to be a true voice for the community, and stand up for Senate District 12. Northwoods residents are struggling to get ahead because of the policies that Senator Tiffany has pushed through the Senate.
“We have seen years of public school cuts, a sluggish economy, special interest giveaways, and a lack of rural broadband access. Yet Senator Tiffany ignores these issues in order to play dirty politics and distract from his dismal track record in Madison. In the legislature, I will restore dignity to this position and be a champion of the common sense family values that the Northwoods is known for.
“No more bills for special interests. No more corrupt pay-to-play politics. I will bring common sense, hard work, and integrity to Madison and truly represent the people of the Northwoods. Above all, I believe in the need for transparency and open communication. I want Wisconsinites to feel connected with their elected officials, to feel as though they have a voice in their government. On November 8th, voters will have the chance to vote for change and chart a new course. Together, with your support, we can build a better future for the Northwoods and work to move Wisconsin forward again.”
Full Name: Renea Frederick
Birth Date: June 9
Family (spouse, children, grandchildren): Todd (husband); Tyler (son) and Maddie the dog.
Employment/Position: Owner of FreMarq Innovations Inc.
Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Merrill School Board.
Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held: President of Merrill Area Community Foundation.
“My name is Renea Frederick. I was born and raised in Merrill. I have a degree in business and economics from UWSP. I am also an owner of FreMarq Innovations, FreMarq engineers and fabricates curtain wall systems which are used to enclose the exteriors of commercial buildings.
“There are three reasons I am running for state assembly, first Wisconsin ranks 50th in entrepreneur and small business development. All new jobs are created by small businesses. If the real goal of the state is to create new jobs, then the state needs to embrace entrepreneurs, not large corporations – entrepreneurs need capital not tax breaks.
“Second, for small businesses to grow and be profitable they need a skilled workforce. There is a shortage of skilled workers, now is not the time to be cutting public education budgets – it is time to be investing in them – to be encouraging and support best practices so that our public education institutions will provide the education and training to our students and returning adults so they and our businesses will be successful and profitable.
“Third, I support a non-partisan board to draw the state’s redistricting lines. This will lead to more competitive election, just as in Iowa. I also believe this would slow the influx of big money from outside our district. In turn will lead to better governing of our state.
“In closing, I support public education, I support fair and transparent elections and I support the growth of new jobs in our district. I am an entrepreneur, while my opponent was out this summer raising money for her campaign; I spent my summer creating jobs. I just don’t talk about creating jobs – I do create jobs.”