Meet the candidates for Wisconsin 7th Congressional District

Gun Rights

Age: 62

Party: Republican

Family: Wife: Chris (married 24 years); 3 Daughters: Karlyn, Lexie and Katherine

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Civic involvement: Town of Little Rice, supervisor (2009-2013), state Assemblyman (2011-2013), National Rifle Association lifetime member, Ruffed Grouse Society, Oneida County Economic Development Corporation, former board member.

Work: Former small-business owner/operator of Wilderness Cruises, Willow Flowage Dam tender, Wisconsin 12th District senator

Education: B.S. in Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

What should the federal government’s role be in the crisis facing farmers, and dairy farmers in particular?

Growing up on my family’s small dairy farm near Elmwood, I understand the challenges facing Wisconsin farmers. Right now, our dairy farmers are facing a dire situation through no fault of their own. The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a blow to our dairy producers, just as it seemed the industry was turning a corner. I believe the federal government should give a hand up to our farmers, in the same way it’s helping workers and small-business owners. The USDA’s recent Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is a good first step. The program will provide $19 billion in direct support to farmers, producers, and distributors whose supply chains have been critically impacted by COVID-19.

Looking past this pandemic, I believe it’s important to reduce the burdensome regulations that threaten the survival of our small farms. I talk with our farmers regularly, and what I continue to hear is they want greater access to broader markets. For too long, our farmers have suffered because we have let other countries take advantage of us with costly tariffs on American goods. It’s time to right these wrongs and fight for fairer trade deals. The USMCA and phase one of the U.S.-China Trade Deal are good starting points, but there’s still more work to be done to ensure Wisconsin farms can succeed. I’ll take my work ethic learned on the farm to Congress, and help lead the fight for free and fair trade deals.

How has COVID-19 affected how you conducted your campaign?

While the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the way in which we campaign, it has not changed the importance of this election, my commitment to connecting with voters, or the values on which I’m running. Since we are unable to talk with voters in-person, we have had to find creative ways for our campaign and volunteers to remotely engage voters, as well as aggressively expand our virtual campaign efforts.

More importantly, I am dedicated to helping provide Wisconsin families with the bridge necessary to get us through these tough times and back to prosperity. That is why I voted for the recent emergency COVID-19 legislation that will help protect Wisconsinites during this public health emergency. In addition, we must understand how we got here so we can prevent similar outbreaks in the future. This COVID-19 pandemic is the deadly and avoidable result of China’s recklessness. The United States must hold China accountable and no longer be complacent toward the country’s misdeeds that led to this.

What distinguishes you from your opponent?

I’m running for Congress to ensure our children and grandchildren can grow up with the same freedom and opportunity that I did. I’m a father and businessman who is concerned for my community, and I deliver on my promises. I’m also the only candidate in this race with a tested, proven record of standing up for northern Wisconsin.

As a citizen legislator, I’ve helped pull Wisconsin out of difficult times before and I’ll do it again. Wisconsinites can count on me because my words come with a record of never compromising on our shared values and always putting Wisconsin first.

What work of Rep. Duffy’s, if any, would you seek to continue and why?

Sean Duffy has been a tireless advocate for conservative principles and a champion of our shared Wisconsin values. Because of Sean’s work, families of the 7th District came to know and expect a representative who fights tirelessly for them. In his place, our district needs a leader who is ready to work for them on day one and ensure there is no gap in representation. I will provide that representation in Congress and will work to enact the same common-sense policies the people of northern and western Wisconsin have come to expect. And just like Sean, I will always fight to ensure the opportunity for the American dream is preserved for future generations.

Age: 39

Party: Democrat

Family: Tricia is the solo parent to a 9-year-old son.

Civic Involvement: ACLU of Wisconsin Board of Directors; founding director, Central Wisconsin Indigenous Peoples’ Day Committee; Wisconsin Tribal Judges Association; National American Indian Court Judges Association; Wisconsin Indian Education Association

Work: Associate Supreme Court Justice, Ho-Chunk Nation; professor, California School of Law; professor, Colorado State University-Global Campus; professor, University of Maryland.

Education: J.D., UCLA School of Law; B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison

What should the federal government’s role be in the crisis facing farmers, and dairy farmers in particular?

I was glad to see the USDA announce $16 billion in relief for farmers, including dairy farmers. I support that effort and believe we need to continue to monitor how our family farmers are being impacted by this crisis in the months to come. We must ensure access to competitive markets and funding for mental health resources for our farmers. We must also eliminate predatory business practices that hurt our farmers. We have to support small businesses because that supports our farmers. And we need to ensure broadband access for our farmers, as well as throughout WI-7.

How has COVID-19 affected how you conducted your campaign?

We’ve had to turn everything about our campaign virtual. After the CDC guidelines went into place, my campaign transitioned to virtual events. I held a virtual roundtable to talk to those impacted by COVID-19, I held a Facebook Live town hall, and I held a series of virtual listening sessions. I’ve made it a priority to reach out and hear how people are being impacted and how I can best advocate for them as their congresswoman.

What distinguishes you from your opponent?

I’m the only candidate in this race who is advocating for the health and safety of Wisconsinites, and for protecting our clean air and clean water. My opponent opposes the health care law that provides protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and has supported policies that are destructive to our environment. I am also a strong supporter of public education and our unions whereas my opponent voted in favor of Act 10.

What work of Rep. Duffy’s, if any, would you seek to continue and why?

I support former Rep. Duffy’s calls for additional funding for rural broadband, and advocating for that would be a top priority of mine. This pandemic highlights more than ever how critical broadband access is to do remote work, do online schooling, or even access telehealth services. We also need to ensure that rural hospitals and related necessary services have the funding that they need.

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