The Dairy Business Association, Wisconsin’s leading dairy lobbying group, is endorsing candidates in several legislative races in the Madison area.
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 endorsed Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, in her bid to replace retiring Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, in the 16th Senate District.
“While that district is largely urban and suburban, it also includes some of Dane County’s most productive farmland,” John Holevoet, DBA’s director of government affairs, said. “In addition to the farms in the area, there are also many constituents, me included, who earn their living indirectly from agriculture. We’re excited to see a candidate in this district who wants to understand agricultural issues better and make them her own.”
The association is also endorsing 10 state representatives from southcentral and southwestern Wisconsin in their bids for reelection. Those candidates: Rep. John Jagler R-Watertown, in the 37th District; Rep. Barbara Dittrich, R-Oconomowoc, in the 38th District; Rep. Mark Born R-Beaver Dam, in 39th District; Rep. Don Vruwink, D-Milton, in the 43rd District; Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, in the 45th District; Rep. Travis Tranel, R-Cuba City, in the 49th District; Rep. Tony Kurtz, R-Wonewoc, in the 50th District; Rep. Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville, in the 51st District; Rep. Dianne Hesselbein, D-Middleton, in the 79th District; and Rep. Dave Considine, D-Baraboo, in the 81st District.
“Southwestern Wisconsin is fortunate to be represented by several lawmakers who are steadfast advocates for dairy farmers and cheesemakers,” said Mike North, former DBA president and a commodity trader based in Platteville.
North pointed out Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, who is not up for reelection this year, and Tranel, Kurtz and Novak, who are seeking another term. Tranel and Kurtz are two of the few remaining farmers in the Legislature. Novak is not a farmer, but he has been supportive of the dairy community in his district, which includes the most cheese plants of any Assembly district.
“These lawmakers are among the staunchest defenders of Wisconsin’s dairy sector,” North said. “It would be a real blow to lose any because of this year’s election.”