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Three women seek 45th Assembly seat

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GINA R. HEINE
April 24, 2012
— Three women with experience on their local municipal boards are seeking Wisconsin's 45th Assembly seat.

Orfordville village trustee Beth Schmidt planned to announce today she will run as a Republican, while 80th District Rep. Janis Ringhand and Beloit City Council member Sheila De Forest are running as Democrats.


Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, is the incumbent in the 45th, but redistricting puts her in the 31st District for the fall elections.


Redistricting moves Ringhand from the 80th District into the 45th. The Gazette stated in a Sunday story she had not yet announced her re-election plans, but she wrote in a column earlier this month that she will run in the 45th.


De Forest announced her candidacy Saturday.


The new 45th District will include Orfordville, Evansville, much of the city of Beloit and the townships of Beloit, Avon, Magnolia and Newark.


Schmidt is a waitress at Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar in Janesville.


"Why a waitress going to Madison?" she said. "I believe that's exactly what we need going to Madison—a compassionate, practical, working person that has to balance their own budget everyday."


Schmidt grew up in Beloit, later moving and graduating from Janesville Craig in 1976. She has lived in Orfordville for 27 years, and her family includes her husband, Karl, and three grown children.


Schmidt earned an associate degree in accounting from Blackhawk Technical College and worked in the field for five years before going back to waitressing to raise her children, she said. She has been on the Orfordville Village Board for a year.


"I've always wanted to give back to the community. I've always wanted to do something to help other people. In the last few years, I found my passion is legislating. I always loved to talk to people," she said.


She said her priority would be bringing jobs to the district and making sure the area has skilled labor matched to company needs. She said better access to emergency health care is needed.


Ringhand is in her first term in the 80th District. She wrote in her column she was disappointed to see her district chopped into three Assembly districts, but she's excited the 45th will represent more of Rock County.


"I look forward to starting a new chapter in the 45th Assembly District and getting to know the people of Orfordville, Beloit and the many townships in between," she wrote. "I've already been to several events in the new district, and I am humbled by the open arms and warm welcome I have received."


Ringhand is a retired bookkeeper from Ringhand Meats and Beverages and earned an associate degree in business/finance from Madison Area Technical College. She served as mayor of Evansville from 2002 to 2006 and also served six years on the Evansville City Council.



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