State Rep. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) announced her candidacy today for the State Senate in the 32nd District. Shilling will be running in the upcoming recall election against incumbent Sen. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse).
Thousands of grassroots volunteers from Western Wisconsin triggered the recall of Senator Kapanke last week. Volunteers collected more than 21,000 signatures in less than 30 days--the fastest triggering of a recall in Wisconsin state history.
"When the working families of the Coulee region needed Senator Kapanke the most, he turned his back on them," said Rep. Shilling. "Senator Kapanke stopped listening to the people he was elected to serve, and it's time to move in a new direction."
Shilling noted that the citizens of Western Wisconsin have clearly rejected Governor Walker's attack on the rights of workers as well as his attempt to slash millions in vital education and health care funding. Despite this overwhelming opposition, she noted, Sen. Kapanke has continued to toe the party line.
"We don't need more politicians to stand with the Governor," Shilling concluded, "We need leaders to stand up to the Governor!"
As the only legislative Democrat in Kapanke's district, Shilling is a natural candidate to take on the vulnerable state senator. The western Wisconsin district, which Kapanke only narrowly won last time around (in a heavily Democratic year), could easily be won by a Democrat in a recall election, given that the turnout at an abnormal time will favor the most energized forces, which I believe will be those who support recall. I cannot say the same about Republicans targeted in the Milwaukee area, where right wing talk radio is such a powerful force in mobilizing voters.
Shilling has already put herself in the spotlight over the collective bargaining fight this year, chastising Republican Assembly members as they left the chamber after their vote on the union bill.
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