A Menomonie man vowed to connect with constituents from around the 29th Assembly District in a renewed bid for the seat.
Democrat John Rocco Calabrese said in a news release he will hold 29 town hall meetings annually if elected to the seat, currently held by Rep. Rob Stafsholt, a Republican who is seeking to challenge Sen. Patty Schachtner in the 10th Senate District.
“To do a proper job, a representative of the people should consistently go to the people,” Calabrese, a Dunn County Board supervisor, said in a news release.
Calabrese is the first person to publicly announce candidacy for the 29th District seat. He ran an unsuccessful bid against Stafsholt in 2018.
Calabrese owns and operates a one-man woodworking and carpentry shop. He, wife Simone and two sons live in Menomonie. According to his campaign page, Calabrese previously served as legislative director of a Wisconsin anti-corruption group.
Calabrese champions local controls, natural resource protections, a Badger Care-for-all plan and public schools according to his campaign website. He also vows to reject corporate or political action committee contributions, saying he will rely on small-dollar donations; a blog post from his 2018 campaign
He chided partisan politics in Madison and in Washington, D.C., calling it “tiresome, divisive and destructive.”
“It’s a smoke screen to keep all of us fighting each other and to hide the fact that in actuality, modern politics is not ‘Left vs. Right’ or ‘D vs. R’; it’s The Corrupt Elite vs. The Rest Of Us,” Calabrese’s news release states.
He said he will stand apart from Democrats who don’t call out fellow politicians surrounded by cronyism and corruption.
“I’m not gonna play those games,” Calabrese said. “I don’t want to be in that club. I intend to work this full-time job only for the people of the 29th and the people of Wisconsin.”