Tiffany, Zunker to square off in May 12 Congressional Race
On Tuesday, May 12, current District 12 Republican Senator Tom Tiffany will face Wausau-resident and current president of the Wausau School Board Tricia Zunker, in the District 7 Special Congressional Election to the US. House of Representatives.
The seat was vacated by former congressman Sean Duffy, who stepped down last year after eight years in office.
An Elmwood, Wis. native, Tiffany has held previous positions of Town of Little Rice Supervisor from 2009–13 and District 35 Assemblyman from 2011–13, before being elected to the District 12 State Senate seat in 2013.
A native of Wausau, Zunker has served as Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the Ho-Chunk Nation ; Law Professor at the California School of Law; Professor at Colorado State University’s Global Campus and Professor at the University of Maryland. She was elected to the Wausau School Board in 2018, and has served as board president since last year.
The pair were the top two vote-getters in the Feb. 18 primary; topping opponents Jason Church and Lawrence Dale. Tiffany topped Church on the Republican ticket 2,543-1,416 while Zunker topped Dale in decisive fashion; 1,515-187 on the Democratic side.
The victor on May 12 will serve through 2022.
Full Name: Tom Tiffany
Family (spouse, children, grandchildren): Wife, Chris, three daughters, Karlyn, Lexie and Katherine
Employment/position: Former small businessman owning and operating Wilderness Cruises for two decades, dam tender, state legislator
Past or present elected ofﬁces held, dates served: Town of Little Rice supervisor from 2009–13; state assemblyman from 2011–13; state senator from 2013–present.
Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and ofﬁces held, dates served: National Rifle Association (lifetime member), Ruffed Grouse Society
Why have you chosen to run for the 7th Congressional District seat: “Growing up on a small farm near Elmwood with my seven siblings, I learned the value of hard work. We put our nose to the grindstone and pitched in to help with our 50 cows so our family could succeed. While I didn’t know it at the time, we were considered poor. No opportunity seemed too far-fetched with our self-reliant mindset. We grew up believing in freedom and dreaming the American dream.
“With perseverance, we achieved it. My wife, Chris, and I became the owners of an excursion boat business, Wilderness Cruises. For many years, we had the pleasure of entertaining people on the Willow Flowage.
“Over time, I saw problems growing in state government. Red tape and regulations crippled businesses. Taxes were too high. Wisconsinites were losing their jobs, and our state had multi-billion-dollar deficits.
“Madison needed a dose of Northwoods common sense. So I stepped up.
“It wasn’t easy. Democrats fled the state, conservatives faced recall attempts, some had paramilitary-style raids on their homes, and our Capitol saw protests unlike ever before. None of that deterred me from looking out for my daughters, family, neighbors, and our community.
“Using the work ethic my parents taught me, I worked with my colleagues to cut taxes by $13 billion and help more Wisconsinites get to work than ever before. We banned late-term abortions and enacted pro-2nd Amendment policies like concealed carry and Castle Doctrine.
“Now, it’s clear our nation is in a state of emergency.
“Senators Sanders and Warren want to dismantle healthcare as we know it. Representative Ocasio-Cortez would destroy Wisconsin agriculture and manufacturing with her excessive regulations in the Green New Deal. Socialism is the norm for Congressional Democrats, who want to upend our Wisconsin way of life completely.
“Meanwhile, Speaker Pelosi and her allies marched in lockstep toward impeachment instead of working swiftly on policies for rural America, like securing our southern border or enacting the USMCA trade deal.
“This isn’t the America I dreamt of for my daughters who, like all our children, deserve every opportunity promised in the American dream. The government shouldn’t stand in the way of their life, liberty, and happiness.
“President Trump needs more allies in Congress who have proven they will get results for our hardworking families in rural America.
“Wisconsinites can count on me to stand with the President and support free and fair trade deals for our farmers and manufacturers.
“I’ll work to lower the price of health care and increase access. I’ll champion delisting the gray wolf. I’ll fight to build a border wall so we can fight against the influx of drugs that are a scourge on our neigh-borhoods. And to stop future generations from being saddled with this offensive federal debt, I’ll roll up my sleeves to lower out-of-control spending.
“We must ensure our children and grandchildren can grow up with the same freedom and opportunity we did. ”
Full Name: Tricia Zunker
Family (spouse, children, grandchildren): Son, age 9.
Employment/position: Associate Justice, Ho-Chunk Supreme Court; Law Professor, California School of Law; Professor, Colorado State University-Global Campus; Professor, University of Maryland. J.D., UCLA School of Law ; B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Past or present elected ofﬁces held, dates served: Wausau School Board, Board President (2019-present), elected to seat in 2018.
Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and ofﬁces held, dates served: Founding Director, Central Wisconsin Indigenous Peoples’ Day Committee (2018- present); ACLU Board of Directors (2018 -present) and serve as requisite attorney member of Executive Committee (2019- present); Member, Wisconsin Tribal Judges Association (2013- present); Member, National American Indian Court Judges Association (2013-present); Member, State Bar of California (2007-present); Member, Wisconsin Indian Education Association (2018-present.)
Why have you chosen to run for the 7th Congressional District seat: “I was born and raised in Wausau.. I come from generations of farmers and grew up in a strong union household. I am a first generation college graduate and then went onto law school. I believe in public service. I’ve been given opportunities in my life that I seized on and I believe representatives must work to ensure opportunities for those who want them. I am running to represent the people of Wisconsin, not the corporate interests. We need campaign finance reform and must get the corporate money out of our elections. I refuse to accept corporate PAC money. And we need campaign finance reform so we can achieve a government that actually looks like society. When I am elected to represent WI-7, I’ll be the first Native American (Ho-Chunk) representing Wisconsin in Congress and I’ll be the first woman to represent WI-7 in Congress. These are overdue representations. But people shouldn’t vote for me because of that – they should vote for me because I am a hard-working woman who will get the job done to improve life in Wisconsin.
“We must ensure access to affordable, accessible healthcare, including mental healthcare. The cost of deductibles is excessive. We must ensure people with pre-existing conditions are covered without penalty. We must take on Big Pharma and drastically lower the cost of prescription drugs.
“We must address the farm crisis here in Wisconsin and ensure our farmers have access to competitive markets, eliminate predatory business practices that hurt our farmers, ensure funding for mental health resources, and ensure broadband access, not just for farmers but throughout this district. We must also support our small businesses because when we support our small businesses, we support our farmers.
“We must also protect our environment. We must ensure clean air, clean water and that our beautiful lands stay protected from corporate greed for generations to come.
“I have put thousands of miles on my car meeting with voters throughout this district and as many minutes on the phone talking with voters. I am hearing the same concerns time and again – healthcare costs, addressing the farm crisis and the environment. But I am also hearing that people are tired of the attacks and the gridlock. I am, too. I have a demonstrated record of working hard and working well with people of different political leanings. I do this through respectful communication, listening, and going to the facts and data as a basis for decision-making. I am committed to working across the aisle to achieve bipartisan solutions that will make life better here in Wisconsin.
“Ultimately, I believe we need representatives who will do what is right for the people. When I approach decision-making, it is with three guiding principles: 1) Compassion – is this the compassionate answer? 2) Equality – does this legislation protect people equally? 3) Opportunity – will this result in the most equitable and inclusive opportunity for success?”
More issues discussed at: www.triciaforwisconsin.com
*The 7th Congressional District includes all or portions of 25 counties across northern and central Wisconsin: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, St. Croix, Chippewa (partial), Clark, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Jackson (partial), Juneau (partial), Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Monroe (partial) Oneida, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, Vilas, Washburn, and Wood (partial).