NEW RICHMOND, Wis. — A New Richmond man who cut his teeth in politics working alongside former state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf is seeking to become the next 29th District Assembly member.

Republican Neil Kline announced his bid Monday, Jan. 20, during events at the BeWell clinic in Baldwin and at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in New Richmond.

The Balsam Lake native and 2018 University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate said he was shaped by an upbringing that stressed self-improvement and self-sufficiency.

“My time with Sheila only helped to reinforce those values,” said Kline, who served as Harsdorf’s 2016 campaign manager, worked on her Senate staff and on her staff after she was appointed secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection by former Gov. Scott Walker.

Kline works at a financial institution's legal department for its general counsel on corporate governance issues.

He is the second Republican to vie for the seat held by Rep. Rob Stafsholt, the New Richmond Republican who is seeking to challenge Democrat Patty Schachtner for the 10th District Senate seat. New Richmond Republican Ryan Sherley has filed paperwork for the 29th District seat and is also listed as a candidate for St. Croix County Board. He did not respond to a previous inquiry about his candidacies.

John Calabrese is the only Democrat so far in the 29th District Assembly race.

Kline identified his priorities as education, jobs/economic development and health care. Among his plans is a focus on closing the gap between high school and technical colleges.

“I believe it is especially important that students make a successful transition between high school and technical college, trades, and apprenticeships,” Kline said in a news release. “These career paths contribute to a strong economy, and satisfied and productive individuals.”

Meanwhile, Kline pointed to the Baldwin BeWell clinic — a facility delivering primary care that includes $25 sick visits for employees of three businesses and Baldwin-Woodville Area School District — as an example of affordable, accessible health care.

“That’s truly innovative,” the 2014 Unity High School graduate said.

Kline said his motivation for candidacy is a long-running interest in government and that he was encouraged by others to run after the vacancy developed.