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Jorgensen eyes 43rd for potential 2012 campaign

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
September 20, 2011

If the state's political redistricting holds up to court challenges, the 43rd Assembly District could see a newcomer in 2012.


Andy Jorgensen, D–Fort Atkinson, now represents the 37th Assembly District and has said he tentatively plans to switch districts in a 2012 re-election bid against 43rd District incumbent Evan Wynn, R-Whitewater.


Jorgensen lives on the south side of Fort Atkinson, just three blocks from the new boundary line for the 43rd District. If new district maps passed this summer by the Wisconsin Legislature hold true, Jorgensen said he'd be willing to move to the 43rd District.


Jorgensen is a former assembly line worker at the General Motors plant in Janesville and has been a member of the state Assembly since 2006.


The new district maps would fracture Jorgensen's district into four pieces: the 37th, 38th, 33rd and 43rd districts.


Jorgensen is eying the 43rd, he said, because he's established a rapport there.


"I've worked well with the community leaders there," he said.


Under new district maps, the 43rd District includes parts of Rock, Dane and Jefferson counties, including the towns of Janesville, Koshkonong, Milton, Fulton and Rock, and the cities of Milton, Edgerton and Whitewater and the village of Footville.


Jorgensen highlighted some of his past accomplishments within the new boundaries of the 43rd District, pointing out that he helped the Rock-Koshkonong Lake District secure a grant to study dredging at Lake Koshkonong.


Rep. Evan Wynn responded to Jorgensen's announcement with criticism, saying Jorgensen has a record of tax increases, deficit spending and job losses while at the helm of his current district.


"It doesn't surprise me that Andy feels that he has to leave his hometown to keep his job," Wynn said in a statement, pointing out that voters in a new district would know less about Jorgenson's track record, which Wynn calls "extremely liberal" and "job-killing."


Jorgensen said he gets calls every day from people who want to see job creation for entrepreneurs and small businesses. He argues that he's working on legislation that would pave the way for those kinds of jobs but said the legislation's not getting pushed hard or fast enough under Gov. Scott Walker.


"There's no fast track for jobs legislation, and (Rep.) Evan Wynn is OK with that. He's a rubber stamper for the Walker administration. He's shown he just agrees with just about everything that the governor is for or against," Jorgensen said.


Jorgensen said it's not set in stone that he'd run in the 43rd District.


If he stayed at his current residence, he'd be in the 33rd District, based on new district maps. Under those maps, Jorgensen would have to seek re-election against longtime incumbent state Rep. Steve Nass, who would shift from the 31st District to the 33rd.


Jorgensen said he wouldn't know for sure whom he could face in a re-election until challenges to the new district maps are decided in court. He said those decisions could come as early as this fall, and they could affect his final decision on the district in which he'd seek re-election.


"We're talking about something that's unknown," Jorgensen said. "We'll have to circle back on some of this, perhaps."



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