NEW RICHMOND -- A local business owner unveiled his candidacy in the race for a western Wisconsin Assembly seat.

Ryan Sherley announced last week he will seek to run as the Republican for Assembly District 29, which is being vacated by Rep. Rob Stafsholt, R-New Richmond, who is challenging for the Senate District 10 seat.

Sherley faces a primary election with New Richmond Republican Neil Kline, who launched his campaign in January. That primary election will be Aug. 11. Menomonie resident John Calabrese is the only Democrat so far to file for the District 29 seat.

Sherley, a 1997 Hudson High School graduate who owns Hudson-based A&K Construction, said he would bring a conservative voice to Madison.

“I will stand firmly against Governor Evers on issues such as gun rights, prevailing wage, automatic voter registrations, and the newest ploy of nonpartisan redistricting,” Sherley said in a news release. “We need government to help and protect us, not over-regulate, drive out businesses and attack our fair election process.”

Sherley said his campaign centers on three main issues: keeping Wisconsin business-friendly, solving mental health issues and safeguarding fair elections.

He said Wisconsin should be “ready to capitalize” on businesses fleeing high-tax states and that the Badger State must do more to support economic development.

Sherley highlighted mental health issues in schools, saying only a few teachers in local school systems have mental-health training.

“We must do better so that all teachers can learn and implement ideas to their students,” he said.

Sherley, who was locked in a 22-month recount saga following an exact tie with eventual winner Scottie Ard for the St. Croix County Board District 13 seat, said he would ensure fair elections. He used his recount experience — in which a judge ordered another recount after a legal challenge to the St. Croix County Board of Canvassers — as an example in outlining his concern.

“Our current election laws leave too much to be interpreted during a recount and what should be allowed to move into our legal system to decide instead of the voters,” Sherley said. “Our system is supposed to be decided by the voters, not a judge."

Sherley and Ard will face each other again in the April elections for the same county seat. Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe said there is precedent in Wisconsin for people to simultaneously hold both a county board and Assembly seat. Sherley did not respond to a request for comment on seeking both seats.

Sherley is a 2001 Arizona State University graduate. He and his wife Jenny have two sons.