DBA Announces Northcentral State Legislature Endorsements

The Dairy Business Association, Wisconsin’s leading dairy lobbying group, is endorsing candidates in several legislative races in northcentral Wisconsin.

DBA based its endorsement decisions on candidates’ positions on agricultural issues and, where available, their past voting records on bills supported by the association, which advocates for the state’s dairy farmers and allied businesses.

DBA is endorsing Rep. Mary Felzkowski, R-Irma, in her race to fill the 12th Senate District seat vacated by now Congressman Tom Tiffany. In the 24th Senate District, the association is supporting Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, for reelection. DBA also is endorsing Rep. Joan Ballweg, R-Markesan, as she runs to replace retiring Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, in the 14th Senate District.

“Joan Ballweg has been a true friend to the state’s farmers,” said Tom Crave, DBA president and a dairy farmer. “Her and her husband own a farm implement dealership and they understand many of the challenges we face in agriculture firsthand. That is rare in the state Legislature these days. She’ll be a welcome addition to the state Senate.”

In addition to those Senate races, DBA is endorsing 10 candidates from northcentral Wisconsin in Assembly contests: Rep. Rob Swearingen, R-Rhinelander, in the 34th District; Rep. Jeff Mursau, R-Crivitz, in the 36th District; Nate Zimdars, D-Ripon, in the 41st District; Rep. Jon Plumer, R-Lodi, in the 42nd District; Rep. Nancy VanderMeer, R-Tomah, in the 70th District; Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, in the 71st District; Rep. Scott Krug, R-Nekoosa, in the 72nd District; Rep. Pat Snyder, R-Schofield, in the 85th District; Rep. John Spiros, R-Marshfield, in the 86th District; and Rep. James Edming, R-Glen Flora, in the 87th District.

This past legislative session, there was a particular focus on water quality, which included hearings across the state held by the Speaker’s Taskforce on Water Quality. Shankland served as vice-chair of that bipartisan group. Together with Testin, Felzkowski, Krug and many more, the taskforce dug into the questions surrounding water quality.

“Farmers are the original stewards of the land. We want to be partners in our state’s efforts to improve water quality and the environment as a whole,” John Holevoet, DBA’s director of government affairs, said.

“We appreciated the leadership of Representative Shankland and her desire to work together with her colleagues and the public to find solutions,” he said. “We anticipate these conversations are only the beginning and we look forward to continuing them next session.”