Newcomer to challenge Hixson in fall
Matt Gaboda, 31, Center Township, announced his candidacy for the 43rd District in an e-mail to the Gazette on Monday night. He is running as an independent.
“I do lean conservative, but … I don’t fit into a box,” he said. “I want to represent the people. I don’t want to represent a party.”
The seat is held by Kim Hixson, D-Whitewater, and is up for election Nov. 2. Hixson will seek re-election, he said in a statement Tuesday.
Gaboda said he doesn’t want to run Hixson down. In fact, he wrote a letter to the Gazette in November praising Hixson for bucking his party to vote “no” on a bill that allows the state to set wind turbine siting standards.
But in general, Hixson seems afraid to go against the Democratic party, Gaboda said. As an independent, Gaboda wouldn’t be tied to any political party or lobbying group, he said.
“I really don’t have anything against (Hixson) as a person, but as far as a representative, I just think I can represent the complete district better than he can,” Gaboda said.
Gaboda’s campaign will focus on attracting business to create jobs, according to his Web site, mattgaboda.com. The issues listed on his Web site include:
-- Eliminating property taxes and charging a flat residence fee.
-- Requiring bio-mass, renewable energy from plant matter, to power plants that now run on coal.
-- Eliminating the prevailing wage law, which requires government contractors to pay the standard wage in the areas they’re working.
-- Strictly enforcing laws prohibiting employers from hiring illegal immigrants.
He wants to “stop penalizing honest, hard-working citizens by making them pay for those who choose not to contribute to Wisconsin and its future,” the Web site says.
In a statement Tuesday, Hixson said he’s looking forward to campaigning for a third term. He doesn’t want to discuss campaign issues yet because he is focused on his legislative priorities in the current session, especially creating jobs, said John Vander Meer, Hixson’s assistant.
Gaboda has no government experience, but he was an active resident of the city of Evansville before moving to Center Township, he said. He spoke out at meetings and through letters against allowing wind turbines within 1,300 feet of residences.
He has an associate degree from Madison Area Technical College and works at a cabinet shop in Dane County, according to his Web site.