Michael Horne
Plenty of Horne

5 Candidates Running for Jeff Stone’s Assembly Seat

Four Republicans and one Democrat seek to win this heavily Republican suburban district.

By - Oct 31st, 2013 10:37 am
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On October 15th, 2013 Governor Scott Walker decreed by Executive Order #118 a special election to be held in the 82nd Assembly District to replace Rep. Jeff Stone, whom he appointed to a position with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.  Walker set a primary date of November 19th, and a general election date of December 17th for the election. Candidates could circulate nomination papers beginning immediately. They had one week to turn them in.

Nomination papers, each with a minimum of 200 or a maximum of 400 signatures, were received from five candidates, four Republicans and a lone Democrat.

And now the race is on.

John Hermes. Photo from campaign website.

John Hermes

The 82nd District includes the cities of Greenfield and Franklin and the Village of Greendale, whose president, John M. Hermes is the candidate of the Democrats. Hermes also sits on the executive committee of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, and was director of legislative affairs for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association from 1989 to 2010, when he retired. [Hermes Campaign Website.]

However, winning a seat in this district is not an easy task for Democrats: all but four of the 38 wards in the district went for Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Stone had held the seat comfortably since 1988. Redistricting in 2010 made it even cozier for Republicans.

Stephanie Mares

Stephanie Mares

Since a presumed safe seat traditionally draws a large field of candidates — even on a moment’s notice, it seems — there are four Republicans hoping to claim the prize.

They are [in order listed by the Government Accountability Board]

Atty. Stephanie S. Mares of Greendale. Mares is a 1984 graduate of Marquette University Law School and is in private practice in Greendale. She operates out of her home on Overlook Court, which overlooks S. 76th St. She is against a train to Madison from Milwaukee, supports Act 10, and favors a Voter ID law. [Mares Campaign Website.].

Ken Skowronski

Ken Skowronski

Ken Skowronski of Franklin. Skowronski is active in the home remodeling industry with KS Remodelers and is a City of Franklin alderman. He is also an NRA member, and apparently a feisty soul. Two years ago today, on October 30th, 2011, he got bent out of shape at a council meeting demanding a reason for the absence of a colleague. [Skowronski Campaign Website.]

Steven C. Becker of Franklin. Becker, formerly of Foley and Lardner, is a 1997 graduate of Syracuse University School of Law, and has his own patent and intellectual property law firm in Greendale. Becker is a member of Wisconsin Right to Life, a gun advocate and is active in his parish, St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. [Becker Campaign Website]

Shari Hanneman

Shari Hanneman

Shari Hanneman of Franklin. Hanneman co-founded Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin, a group that sought increased penalties for sex crimes and fought a “sex predator house” in her neighborhood. [Hanneman Campaign Facebook Page.]

As for Stone, he now serves as the Administrator for the Division of Water, Compliance and Consumer Affairs for the PSC and will earn $94,000 per year. That’s about double the pay for legislators, who earn $49,943 per year along with per diem payments during legislative sessions and for mileage to Madison

Sen. Lassa Raises Funds at University Club for 2016 Run

District 24 Senator Julie Lassa, a Democrat from Stevens Point, won’t face re-election until November, 2016, but she was in Milwaukee Tuesday, October 29th, shaking the bushes at the genteel University Club.

“Welcome to the University Club where we meet on a daily basis,” joked host Mayor Tom Barrett, speaking to a couple dozen people in the club’s paneled 3rd floor library.

Julie Lassa

Julie Lassa

The mayor introduced a number of dignitaries at the event, including Supervisor David Cullen, an ex-legislator, and John Hermes, the Greendale Village President we noted is running to replace Stone in the 82nd Assembly District.

Lassa started in the Assembly herself in 1998, before joining the senate in a special election in 2008, Barrett reminded the audience, adding that the “Republicans keep gerrymandering her district — it was safe.” It’s still where she is very, very popular, he said, due to her “tireless work in the district.”

“I’ll say this as a compliment,” the mayor said, looking at Lassa. “She’s a normal person.”

Barrett complimented what he said was Lassa’s ability “to work both sides of the aisle.”

Lassa thanked the attendees, who included Senators Chris Larson and Tim Carpenter, along with James and Aggie Stearns and activist Joan M. Zeiger.

Logan McDermott, a UWM student from Platteville also was there. He has founded a group on campus called Students Organizing for Action, he said.

Lassa, in her remarks, returned Barrett’s favor, calling him a “champion for workers and their families.”

Then she lit into her opponents-by-proxy, Gov. Scott Walker and the Republicans in general.

“Walker and both houses of the legislature have taken us backwards,” she said.

“They say they are ‘Compassionate Conservatives.’ They say they are ‘fiscally conservative.’ They are not.”

She pointed out that the Walker administration failure to accept federal funds to implement the Affordable Care Act.

“This week Walker sent 92,000 letters to people who are about to be taken off Badger Care.” These people will likely go to emergency rooms for treatment, she said, adding that she sponsored legislation to increase such funding.

“The Republicans use their ideology to counter common sense,” she said.

Scott Walker, said, “is running for president. [Scott] Fitzgerald and [Robin] Vos have their own agendas.”

Wisconsin is “behind the national average in fiscal recovery. It has everything to do with what Scott Walker and the Legislature has advanced. They give out gifts to the special interests. But where are the jobs?’ she asked.

“The Republicans are changing the rules,” in order to preserve their power, she said, citing redistricting and proposed changes to voting laws.

“Meanwhile the Republicans have focused on taking away women’s rights to medical care and forcing them to undergo invasive ultrasounds” if they plan to terminate a pregnancy.”

Is there a bright side, Sen. Lassa?

“Having Glenn Grothman as spokesperson for the Republican Party really helps us.”

Photos from the Event

3 thoughts on “Plenty of Horne: 5 Candidates Running for Jeff Stone’s Assembly Seat”

  1. Andy says:

    Michael, being the excellent journalist that you are… can you do some investigation into Mr. Hermes stance on any issues? I looked at this campaign website… and under the issues section it only says he wants to work with everyone on the issues. There’s gotta be something out there we can dig up, or even ask him directly about, to see where he stands on some of the main issues out there.

  2. Robert says:

    No, Andy, he’s a Democrat so just vote for him.

  3. Michael says:

    As someone who lived in Greendale and knows of John Hermes, I can tell you that he is a liberal in a moderate’s clothing. Mr. Hermes signed a recall petition against Governor Walker, and that should tell you a lot right there. Since Hermes was closely aligned with the air traffic contollers union, he proved once union-minded, always union-minded. Either Stephanie Mares or Ken Skowronski are best suited to replace Jeff Stone in the 82nd.

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