2014 Elections Update

Kramer files for no candidacy

Recently, Political Tidbits reported Representative Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) was ousted as Assembly Majority Leader following allegations of sexual harassment. While the Assembly Republican Caucus unanimously voted to remove Rep. Kramer from his leadership position until the end of session, no word had been heard about whether the representative would resign from his seat. However, early this week, documents saying Kramer would not be seeking re-election in the fall were filed to the Government Accountability Board. This leaves the 97th Assembly Distrcit open for the fall.

Rep. Mike Endsley announces no candidacy

Representative Mike Endsley (R-Sheboygan) also filed papers stating he would not seek re-election in the fall. Endsley was elected in 2010 to the 26th Assembly District, and served on the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, and the Committee on Small Business Development. Endsley plans to leave the Assembly to pursue opportunities in the private sector.

With the departures of Representatives Kramer and Endsley, the number of incumbents not seeking re-election this fall rises to nine. Representatives Fred Clark (D-Baraboo), John Klenke (R-Green Bay), Daniel LeMahieu (R-Cascade), and Mary Williams (R-Medford) are all retiring from the Assembly. Representatives Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay), Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), and Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) leave the Assembly to run in other elections.

Rep. Garey Bies run for Secretary of state

As Representative Gary Bies announced his no-candidacy for the 1st Assembly District, he also handed in his intent to run for Secretary of State. In press release, Bies cites his seven terms as a legislator as good experience to “apply a fresh and pragmatic perspective” to the Secretary of State position which has been held by Doug LaFollette (D) for a total of nearly forty years. Bies is the fifth Republican to join the race for Secretary of State.

Burke rolls out jobs plan

Democratic Gubenatorial candidate Mary Burke has released a forty page plan to boost job and business growth, should she be elected in 2014. Burke outlined the strategy in a video, and also discussed the plan and other issues at a Marquette University forum earlier this week.

Burke’s job plan highlights five key strategies:

  1. Support industry clusters, instead of individual firms;
  2. Strengthen Wisconsin’s workforce through training and education;
  3. Focus on Entrepreneurs;
  4. Make Wisconsin competitive globally;
  5. Invest in communities.

While many are combing through the forty page plan, Governor Scott Walker responded to the plan by commenting on his opponent’s record as commerce secretary during Governor Jim Doyle’s administration, citing the loss of thousands of jobs. According to WQOW, Walker plans to release a new jobs plan in late April.

Three CD give no confidence to Sen. Olsen, Rep. Kestell

Wisconsin Election Watch reports the Republican Party of the Second, Fourth, and Sixth Congressional Districts passed a no confidence resolution against Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and Representative Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake). According to the resolution, Olsen and Kestell did not carry out their constituents wishes to reject Common Core State Standards, and have “remained manipulative, misleading, and unaccountable in their dealings”. Representative Kestell called the resolution “obviously disappointing;” but Senator Olsen stated, “My job is to represent [my entire district] and not just a small fraction of the Republican Party.”