Ringhand wins 80th Assembly District post
80th Assembly District
Janis Ringhand 12,096
Dan Henke 10,787
EVANSVILLE The third time was the charm for Janis Ringhand.
The Evansville Democrat beat Republican Dan Henke on Tuesday to become the 80th District representative in the state Assembly.
It was Ringhand's third run for the seat after two unsuccessful bids.
"I'm very pleased," she said in a telephone interview from the VFW in Evansville where her supporters had gathered. "I was really unsure as to how it would come out. I'm really, really pleased."
Ringhand attributed the win to "a lot of hard work" from her campaign and volunteers. Her supporters knocked on more than 20,000 doors, "making that personal touch that we know is important," she said.
Henke, a homebuilder and Monroe City Council member, edged out Ringhand in Green County, 51 percent to 48 percent. But Ringhand cleared Rock County with nearly 63 percent of the vote and Dane County with 58 percent.
Ringhand ran for the 80th District seat twice before. She lost to incumbent Brett Davis, R-Oregon, by 249 votes in 2006, and she was unsuccessful in the 2004 primary for the seat, which was open at the time.
Davis gave up the seat and lost his bid in the September primary for lieutenant governor.
A retired bookkeeper from Ringhand Meats and Beverages, Ringhand also is an Evansville alderwoman and former mayor.
On Tuesday night, she had not made a decision about the status of her 2nd District council seat.
"I will be talking with the Assembly Democrat committee, and a decision will be made," she said. "I'm certainly giving it some serious thought."
Job creation and retention will be the main focus, but how she and her party approach that task depends on statewide election results, she said, as many other races still were too early to call.
Ringhand has said she would encourage new business start-ups, and low-interest loans or grants could possibly be used. She has said she supports tax forgiveness for businesses that hire people who have been laid off for more than a year.
Ringhand thanked her voters and constituents "for their wonderful support in this endeavor," and she expressed appreciation for her volunteers.