Democrat to run for Assembly
Sheila De Forest, a Beloit College graduate who has worked in social services and as a high school teacher, appears to be the first person to declare candidacy for the seat.
Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, is the incumbent in the 45th, but redistricting puts Loudenbeck in the 31st District for the fall elections. Redistricting also will move Janis Ringhand, D-Evansville, from the 80th District into the 45th. She will run in the 45th.
The 45th District includes Orfordville, Evansville, much of the city of Beloit and the townships of Beloit, Avon, Magnolia and Newark.
De Forest describes herself as a social worker and teacher who was the first person in her family to graduate from high school and college.
She said in a news release that she wants to be a voice for people who struggle. She pledged not to take corporate donations for her campaign.
“We’ve had corporate dominance in decisions made in state government,” she said. “Unfortunately, corporate money often corrupts politicians of both parties. I believe in people power and not allowing corporate money to buy influence.”
She said her priorities in office would be to increase employment opportunities for Rock County residents, ensure every child receives a quality education, preserve critical public-safety jobs and act in environmentally responsible ways.
Tammie King, owner of King Consulting Services in the Merrill Neighborhood in Beloit, is De Forest’s campaign manager. Her campaign treasurer is Beloit resident Deb Crockett.
De Forest holds a bachelor’s degree in English and sociology and a master’s degree in education, according to the city of Beloit website. She has taught at Beloit Memorial High School and was director of the Hub Center in Beloit with oversight of 22 employees and a budget of more than $1 million in state, federal and private grants.
De Forest was founder and coordinator of the Sexual Assault Recovery Program, which now serves three counties.
De Forest works in homelessness prevention, helping families avoid rental eviction.