Youth prevails in 32nd
Adam Gibbs emerged from the crowd of six Republicans seeking to replace Rep. Thomas Lothian in the state’s 32nd Assembly District.
Update: August may request re-count
The 24-year-old Gibbs, youngest of the candidates, held off second-place finisher Tyler August to win the Republican nomination. He will face Democrat Doug Harrod of Genoa City in November’s general election.
“I’m absolutely elated,” said Gibbs, who was celebrating the victory Tuesday night at a Lake Geneva restaurant. “I can’t believe it was that close. I think more than anything it was the person-to-person contact and the amount of people that I met that (helped me).”
Gibbs said it’s time for “new blood and a fresh perspective” in the state Legislature.
He defeated Thomas Stelling, Dan Necci, Mel Nieuwenhuis, John Finley and Tyler August. Finley and Nieuwenhuis were the only two that had prior experience in an elected position.
Nieuwenhuis, the mayor of Delevan and employee at Nieuwenhuis Garbage Disposal, finished third in the Republican primary.
Gibbs, who has a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from UW-Madison, works in marketing, sales and coaching.
The candidates campaigned on many of the same issues, which included the state deficit and job creation. They also stood against the planned high-speed rail running between Madison and Milwaukee and its cost to taxpayers.
“We’re not going to be able to spend ourselves into prosperity,” Gibbs said. “It comes down to making tough decisions and prioritizing our money and stopping wasteful, frivolous spending the current administration is engaging in.”
Lothian announced this summer he wouldn’t seek re-election, and Harrod was the only candidate to file for the Democrats.
Harrod has run twice before, and Gibbs called him well-organized with a strong base of supporters.
The 32nd District covers the southern half of Walworth County, including Darien, Delavan, Geneva, Lyons, Sharon, Walworth, Linn and Bloomfield.