Two newcomers meet in race for 43rd Assembly district

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Jim Dayton
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Two newcomers to state politics will square off in the race for Wisconsin’s 43rd Assembly District to replace Democratic incumbent Andy Jorgensen, who is not seeking re-election.

Allison Hetz, a Republican from Whitewater, ran uncontested in the August primary after competitor Daniel Joiner dropped out, citing the need for party unity.

Don Vruwink, a Milton Democrat, defeated Milton Mayor Anissa Welch in the Democratic primary.

The district covers portions of Rock, Jefferson, Dane and Walworth counties.

Q: Why are you running for this position?

Hetz: She said she has experienced difficult times while living in Walworth County, but this is her home and she believes in the people of her district.

“The people that have been in my life have shown me what it takes to be a leader, but more importantly a listener,” Hetz wrote in an email. “I’m reminded that when life drags you down, pick yourself back up, show the world what you’re made of and then use that to help others.”

Vruwink: He said he has the ability to accomplish tasks in a bipartisan way and is concerned about the Legislature’s public school budget cuts, citing his background as a teacher and coach. Vruwink would like to steer students toward trade schools and make financial literacy a required course to cut down on long-term student debt.

Q: Why are you the best candidate?

Vruwink: He said his many years in public service have given him experience and perspective in many different areas.

Hetz: Her difficult childhood—being raised by a single mother, living on welfare programs and experiencing homelessness—gave her a strong understanding of the challenges many Wisconsinites face, she said.

Q: Which issues are your highest priorities?

Hetz: She listed her three primary issues as transportation funding, education funding and substance abuse prevention.

Vruwink: His most significant issues included transportation funding, education and infrastructure, including broadband access and bridge improvements that would encourage businesses to move here.

Q: What policies would you propose to solve the issues that matter most to you?

Vruwink: He said he would look at sustainable solutions to pay for education and improve road conditions, not just freezing UW System tuition or raising taxes.

“For our state to be successful, we need to invest in programs that are proven to work,” Vruwink said. “We need to create a culture in which we can attract businesses to our state and finance our educational system.”

Hetz: She would continue the tuition freeze to allow families to plan long term for education. For substance abuse, she would focus on those who don’t have health insurance and who can’t get the care they need.

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