STATE JOURNAL STAFF
Address: N3043 Haas Road, Jefferson
Family: wife Jill, two adult children and a granddaughter
Use: Farmer and school bus driver for the Jefferson School District
Before elected mandate: Fort Atkinson School Board (age 15)
Education: BA in Agricultural Economics from UW-Madison; graduate of Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program, received half credits from UW-Whitewater Masters in School Business Finance
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Campaign email or website: firstname.lastname@example.org, scottforassembly.com
To party: Democrat
Family: Wife Beth, son Craig, daughter-in-law Annette
Use: State representative; retired teacher and coach for the Milton School District; substitute teacher for several school districts
Before elected mandate: State Representative, 43rd Assembly District; Milton City Council 2011-2015; Milton School Board 2016-2019
Other public service: Director, City of Milton Parks and Recreation; umpire for softball and youth baseball; facilitated the Milton Veterans Memorial; Milton Area Chamber of Commerce
Education: BA in Social Science and Political Science with a minor in Coaching from UW-Stevens Point; MA in History from UW-Whitewater
Campaign email or website: email@example.com, donvruwinkforassembly.com
Questions and answers
Why are you the best candidate for this position?
Johnson: I am the best candidate to represent the 33rd precinct because I am not a career politician. I want to bring my knowledge and skills as a farmer, former school board member, and public school bus driver to Madison. I believe my experiences represent the values of my rural riding and will be an asset to my constituents.
Vruwink: My experience working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle will allow me to best represent the people of the 33rd Assembly District. I listen to my constituents and bring their concerns to the Legislative Assembly. I’m an independent thinker who doesn’t always toe the party line, but votes with what’s best for the people in my district.
What is the most important issue of this election and how would you approach it?
Johnson: Going door to door, I hear stories of people suffering the effects of historic inflation, families working to ensure their children get a good education, and law enforcement officers. laws that go beyond the call of duty to keep our communities safe. These are some of the most pressing issues I look forward to addressing when elected to the Assembly this fall.
Vruwink: Wisconsin faces many challenges, including growing our well-educated workforce to fuel the economy; ensure that every household and every business has access to high-speed Internet; and tax control. To achieve these goals, the Legislative Assembly must bridge the partisan divide. The people of Wisconsin want cooperation, not fight. They want the government to serve the people, not the politicians.
What changes, if any, would you make to the state’s electoral system?
Johnson: I believe that we must ensure that all elections are conducted fairly and in accordance with the law. I would look to the findings of the Legislative Audit Office report for additional changes.
Vruwink: Wisconsin’s electoral system is a model for the nation, and it saddens me that election workers from the local level all the way up to the state election commission are under attack. I have full confidence in the integrity of our elections. I oppose efforts to erect more barriers to voting. I don’t want our election laws to discourage people from exercising their right to vote if they have the right to vote.
What are your priorities for the state’s $5 billion surplus?
Johnson: I spent months going door to door talking to voters. Clearly people are concerned about record inflation and price increases driven by reckless spending at the federal level. We need to keep our budget balanced, fund our priorities, and let people keep more of their hard-earned money.
Vruwink: I support returning a significant portion of the budget surplus to the people who built it in the first place: the taxpayers of Wisconsin. We can use the surplus for a 10% increase in income tax and also limit property taxes by increasing funding for public schools and increasing the homestead tax credit, which benefits homeowners and low-income tenants.
Should abortion be legal in all cases, illegal in all cases, or something in between? Explain.
Johnson: I understand that this is a deeply personal and emotional matter that evokes many strong feelings. I know this will be a topic of debate and discussion after the legislature resumes after the election. I am pro-life and believe in exceptions for rape, incest and when the mother’s life is in danger. This will guide me as the matter is considered by the legislature.
Vruwink: I support the law as established in Roe v. Wade. Abortion should be rare, but there are times when the circumstances are so dire that the doctor can counsel the family on the options, such as in cases of rape, incest, and serious medical complications. I also support access to affordable contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
How should the state improve educational outcomes, particularly in the wake of the impact of the pandemic on student achievement?
Johnson: As a former school board member, I understand the value of in-person learning. Our students continue to struggle with the effects of virtual learning. We must ensure that all families have the opportunity to attend excellent schools and receive a solid education. We should give parents the information they need to make decisions and do what they think is best for their child.
Vruwink: As a teacher for over 40 years, I know that educators are the most critical factor in the success of our children. To attract and retain good faculty and staff, we must compensate them properly. Over the past two decades, special interests have increasingly diverted taxpayers’ money from public schools to pay for some children to attend private schools. This must stop.
How should the state address its workforce challenges, both in the public and private sectors?
Johnson: I often hear about the struggles over Wisconsin’s labor shortage. From restaurants to healthcare and even law enforcement, we continue to suffer from a lack of workers. Once elected, I will work with my colleagues to advance policies that reduce regulation on business, ensure our state’s tax system remains competitive, support technology colleges, and attract and retain high-quality workers.
Vruwink: Reward companies that provide on-the-job training and paid apprenticeships for the type of workers they want to hire. Technical colleges play a huge role in creating a vibrant economy. We must continue to build school-business partnerships to ensure employers have the well-trained employees they need.
Was Michael Gableman’s investigation of the 2020 election a good use of taxpayer resources? What follow-up should there be?
Johnson: Wisconsin election laws must be followed. Every voter has the right to know that their vote was counted fairly and legally. We are two months away from the midterm elections. I focus on my campaign, talking to voters and finding solutions to the issues they face every day.
Vruwink: Nope. It was a waste of over a million dollars of taxpayers’ money. The Legislative Audit Office should audit to account for every dollar spent and make recommendations so mistakes like this don’t happen again.