The Monroe Times contacted candidates in area races and gave them the opportunity to submit profile information. The following profiles were returned and are published below as they were submitted. Democrat Dick Cates, Republican Todd Novak and Libertarian Adam Laufenberg are running in the Nov. 4 general election for the 51st Assembly District.
City/town of residence: Resident of rural Highland, WI
Family: My girlfriend and I share our home with our dog, Remi
Education: University of Wisconsin-Platteville (2010) Geography, History; Highland High School (2005)
Occupation: Route driver for Spee Dee Delivery in Dodgeville, WI
Previous elected positions held: I have no formal political experience, but I have become very passionate about politics within the past few years. The 2012 presidential election really got me turned on to politics, and now it is something I care about a lot.
What are the top issues facing this district/board/office and how would you work to resolve them?
I believe there are three issues that are important to not only the residents of the 51st District, but all Wisconsin residents including taxes, political gerrymandering, and medical marijuana access here in Wisconsin. Here is how I will work to solve these problems here in Wisconsin:
1. Cut government waste and spending. This is essential to reduce the tax burden on Wisconsin citizens, allowing them to keep more of their money.
2. We need to implement a nonpartisan redistricting plan like the one that has been successful in Iowa. It's time for voters to choose their representatives, not the other way around. It's time to end politicians picking their voters.
3. Another issue the state assembly needs to address is bringing medical marijuana to Wisconsin citizens. Continuing research shows that marijuana has and can be used to treat a variety of ailments, almost always with less negative side effects than traditional pharmaceuticals. Many other states have access to medical marijuana, and it's time Wisconsin keeps up with the pack.
What are other key issues facing the district/board/office, and how would you work to resolve them?
A few other issues that seem to be of concern with the voters are political term limits, marriage equality, and to keep the government spending in check by introducing a balanced budget act.
We have too many "career" politicians, and I would support setting a limit for each office and position.
Marriage equality for all is the goal, and may not be an issue any further here in Wisconsin due to the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The introduction of a balanced budget act would help keep the government in line, and help keep down on excessive government spending. A balanced budget act would make sure the government balance the budget within it's means, and would not allow them to raise taxes if the budget exceeds it's balances.
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
I am the best candidate for this position because I would inject a much needed youthful presence that the current government seems to lack. There is an entire generation that has lost faith in its government and doesn't feel properly represented. In addition to adding a different prospective, I will work towards fiscally conservative goals in cutting government spending and waste, as well as working towards progress on social issues such as marriage equality and ending the prohibition on marijuana and allowing access to medical marijuana for all residents of Wisconsin. I am running for state assembly so all future generations can have a shot at success. It's time for a smaller, less intrusive government. It's time for more personal freedom. It's time for you to keep more of your money.
Candidate - WI State Assembly, District 51