RIVER FALLS — A lawyer from Hudson who advocates for domestic abuse survivors has her sights set on the Legislature.
Sarah Yacoub announced her candidacy for Assembly District 30 during a Friday, Oct. 11, event at River Falls Public Library. She is the first Democrat to announce a challenge to incumbent Rep. Shannon Zimmerman, R-River Falls.
Yacoub told a group of about 25 supporters the Legislature has a “horrific imbalance” in political control.
“This is not democracy, folks,” she said. “This is tyranny. And the time to fight for our democracy is now.”
A California native who served as a prosecutor in Los Angeles, Yacoub lives in Hudson with her family and works as a pro-bono lawyer for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. She ran an unsuccessful bid in 2016 for St. Croix County district attorney.
Yacoub said during a question-and-answer portion she would support Medicaid expansion funding for Wisconsin, back small farms and endorse red-flag laws for gun owners experiencing mental crisis.
Yacoub notes on her campaign website that faith is central to her and that it informs her pro-life stance — a departure from the Democratic pro-choice platform, which she acknowledged.
“I’m not hiding from my faith,” Yacoub said.
She said she doesn’t seek to criminalize abortions.
“I believe abortion is a tragedy,” Yacoub said by email. “I support the party that advocates for policies that reduce abortions like access to health care, paid maternity leave and ensuring clean water.”
Yacoub quickly took aim at Zimmerman during the announcement, pointing out a circle drawn on a District 30 map and its surrounding area. She said the circle — located outside District 30 — was drawn around Zimmerman’s Belle Vinez winery facility, where he also owns a home.
Zimmerman lists his home as a River Falls residence he also owns and has previously said he lives there with his son and grandchild. His residence has been the source of inquiry in the past, including a special-election primary campaign where the eventual Republican candidate, Adam Jarchow, accused him of living outside the district.
Yacoub renewed that allegation during her announcement.
“You don’t live here, buddy,” she said. “You have no business representing us.”
Zimmerman declined to comment Monday.
Yacoub said she looks forward to serving in the Legislature with District 10 Sen. Patty Schachtner, D-Somerset. Yacoub said she hopes the two of them can team up on mental health issues, trauma-informed care and other health-related legislation.
“Together, Patty and I could do a lot of really amazing work for western Wisconsin,” she said.