Thirteen new members were voted into the Wisconsin Legislature on Nov. 9. There will be two fresh faces in the Wisconsin Senate, Sens. Patrick Testin (R-Marinette) and Dan Feyen (R-Fond du Lac). Also, joining the Senate from the Assembly will be now Sens. Dave Craig (R- Big Bend) and LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee).
The State Assembly has 11 new representatives (seven Republicans, four Democrats). New representatives include Ron Tusler (R-Harrison), Jason Fields (D-Glendale), David Crowley (D-Milwaukee), Rob Stafsholt (R-New Richmond), Shannon Zimmerman (R-River Falls), Don Vruwink (D-Milton), Jimmy Anderson (D-Fitchburg), Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer), Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego), Patrick Snyder (R-Schofield), and Treig Pronschinske (R-Mondovi).
This week on Get to Know a Freshman, Political Tidbits highlights four new Republican representatives and two new Democrats.
Rep. Jimmy Anderson (D-Fitchburg)
Rep. Anderson, representing District 47, was born in California but moved to Wisconsin to attend law school at UW-Madison. In his final year of law school, a drunk driver took the lives of his parents and brother and left Anderson paralyzed from the chest down. After the accident, Anderson graduated from law school and started Drive Clear, a nonprofit that helps victims of drunk driving.
Rep. Treig Pronschinske (R-Mondovi)
Rep. Pronschinske, representing District 92, grew up in Eau Claire and graduated from Chippewa Valley Technical College with a degree in construction management. Pronschinske has been in the construction business for over 20 years and has owned and operated a small construction business for over a decade. In addition to running his business and his new position as a state representative, Pronschinske serves as mayor of Mondovi. He has been a volunteer firefighter in Mondovi for nine years and volunteers with the Mondovi Youth Baseball Association, Big Brothers & Big Sisters and Junior Achievement.
Rep. Patrick Snyder (R-Schofield)
Rep. Snyder, representing District 85, grew up in Milwaukee and attended the University of Iowa. Snyder worked as a radio host, then lost a campaign for the 85th Assembly seat in 2012 before becoming the Outreach Director for Congressman Sean Duffy. Snyder is a member of United Way’s Hunger Coalition and Housing and Homelessness Committee and the Marathon County Department of Social Services Administrative Review Panel. Snyder also volunteers at Aspirus Hospice.
Rep. Robert Stafsholt (R-New Richmond)
Rep. Stafsholt, representing District 29, was born and raised in St. Croix County. Stafsholt attended both UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls. He has managed his family’s farm for over 22 years and runs their food manufacturing company. In the New Richmond community, Stafsholt served on the Town of Erin Prairie’s Planning Commission and is a member of the New Richmond Chamber of Commerce, the St. Croix Republican Party, the St. Croix County Farm Bureau, the Wisconsin Property Taxpayers, Inc. and the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association.
Rep. Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer)
Rep. Summerfield, representing District 67, was born and raised in Bloomer. Summerfield graduated from UW-Stout and now operates his family business Two Acres Supper Club. He also co-owns Chippewa Valley Land Title and manages the Bloomer Bowl. Summerfield is a member of the Bloomer Chamber of Commerce and Good Shepard Lutheran Church and is a youth sports coach.
Rep. Don Vruwink (D-Milton)
Rep. Vruwink, representing District 43, grew up on a dairy farm in central Wisconsin. He graduated from UW-Stevens Point and received a Master’s Degree in Social Studies from UW-Whitewater. Vruwink spent 40 years as an award-winning high school teacher and coach in Milton. He served on the Milton City Council for four years and was elected City Council President in 2015. In 2011, Vruwink was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Milton Area Chamber of Commerce. Vruwink currently serves as a member of the Milton School Board.