Two candidates vie for the 29th Assembly District seat previously held by Republican Rob Stafsholt. On the ballot are Democrat John Rocco Calabrese and Republican Clint Moses.
We asked each candidate the following questions:
1. Why do you want to serve in this position?
2. What will be your primary focus if elected?
3. What issues are forefront in our Western Wisconsin region?
4. The country has seen widespread protests following the cases of police shootings, including those of Jacob Blake in Kenosha and George Floyd in Minneapolis. How should the issue of police reform be addressed at the state level?
5. What role should the government play as the COVID-19 pandemic continues?
John R. Calabrese
Address: 1402 Kausrud St., Menomonie
Education: High school diploma/ woodworking apprenticeship
Family: Wife, married 10 years; two sons, 9 and 6
Civic involvement: Dunn County Board supervisor; former Wisconsin state director of Wolf PAC, an all-volunteer group focused on fighting corruption and big money in politics
1. I want to work for my neighbors. Our statehouse has turned into an auction house where far too often legislation is purchased and/or pushed by wealthy individuals and interests who view everyday people as pawns to be manipulated at election time. I want to bring solutions from my neighbors to Madison. I have an inherent drive to help people. I want this to be a full-time job to bring people genuine, honest representation and all the benefits that will lead to.
2. My primary focus will be to the people of the 29th District. I will hold at least 29 town hall events each year to listen, plan and report back. From there, we will work to bring health care, local control, clean water, strong public education, and thriving local farms and businesses.
3. Health care, elder care, COVID-19, the future of our food systems and public education systems. Real, old fashioned representation where the people, not the political party, come first is the first and most important step to addressing all the problems that face this district.
4. The Republican-led state Legislature pretends every session to be "tough on crime" as they do their real business which is to change the laws and regulations that cost them and their rich friends money. They say they "support the police" and will "keep us safe" as an election ploy. We need our police. They are vitally important, but it is clear reforms are needed too. The state could help shift funding from over-incarceration and military-style police gear to employing mental health and addiction experts to assist the police when necessary.
5. The government should do its job. We have been propagandized over decades to believe government is the enemy. A corrupt, hyper-partisan government is the enemy. An effective government helps to take care of the people it governs. We need to trust scientists, health experts and remove the partisan lens from a global pandemic. Simultaneously we need to envision and begin to plan for a different future. There is no "back to normal," it is time to Turn The Corner with new food systems, education systems, health care systems. If the government was not owned by corrupting influences and industries the trust would return. We need to have trust.
Address: N6602 470th St. Menomonie
Education: BApPsychology, BS human biology, doctorate chiropractic
Family: Wife Nora, four daughters
Civic engagement: Rotary Club of Menomonie past president, Community Foundation of Dunn County past cahir, Colfax Health & Rehab Board, current School District of Menomonie Area Board Clerk
1. My passion for helping people and serving my community.
2. Responding to COVID-19 and bouncing back. We’ve all had to adjust how we live our lives due to COVID-19, and keeping our communities and families safe is a top priority as we get our economy moving again. As a doctor, small business owner, father of 4 daughters and school board member, I know how important it is for health care professionals to have the resources they need to care for their patients, businesses have the ability to open safely, and our students to get the quality education they need. Fighting for rural Wisconsin is also a top priority for me. Our region needs better access for issues from broadband to mental health.
3. Healthy communities: affordable access, mental health, clean and sustainable environment. raxes. Ensuring responsible use of our tax money for roads, public safety and schools in western Wisconsin. Protecting the constitutional rights of all citizens.
4. Focus on hiring good people to start with. Improve objective performance measurements that identify and eliminate bad police. Continue to fund the police so that they have the training and tools that they need to do their jobs and serve the public well. If funding is cut the first thing to be eliminated is likely the training that is so vital to public safety.
5. It is crucial to get our economies moving again, so that people can get back to work safely and provide for themselves and their families. It is important that our communities have the tools and resources necessary to take common-sense precautions to reduce the spread of the virus while also ensuring that businesses can operate effectively.