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Wright, Kulp seeking re-election to the Assembly, a challenger expected to enter Thursday


UNDATED (WSAU) -- Campaign season is underway.

In the 85th Assembly District, one-term incumbent Mandy Wright announced her bid for re-election Wednesday. Wright says her focus is family-supporting jobs, access to quality healthcare, and re-investing in our schools.

Wright plans to keep pushing for Wisconsin to accept the federal Medicaid dollars rejected by Republicans.  “Billions of dollars that Wisconsin taxpayers have paid into the federal government, and we refuse to take them back because of all of the controversy around the Affordable Care Act, but it is clear now that that is here to stay, so I really think it would be a great move for our state if we would accept those federal funds.”

Looking ahead to the next Legislative session, Wright is hopeful Democrats can gain some seats and again have some influence on state policy.  “If we win the Governorship, or if the Senate is Democratic instead of Republican, you’ll see a lot more free flow of ideas, you’ll see Democrats really advocating for issues because we have a better shot at passing them.”

It appears she will have a challenger.

An announcement is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Thursday by Wausau businessman and former Illinois prosecutor Dave Heaton, who has hinted he will jump into the race.

In the neighboring 69th Assembly District, Bob Kulp is seeking his first full term after replacing Scott Suder last year. So far, no Democrat has announced a challenge.

Kulp says he has a list of issues to seek action on, should he be re-elected. One of them is to continue on the Republican’s mission to reduce taxes.  “Being part of a study group this summer for looking at personal property tax, and possibly eliminating or phasing that out as it’s been for manufacturers and ag, and computers. That is probably one of the larger initiatives that I’ll be a part of the study group this summer to look at that.”

Every candidate wants to create jobs, but you’ll find differences in how they want the state to be involved in creating them. Kulp says there is still a lot of work to do in Madison when it comes to creating the right atmosphere for business growth and job creation.  “Workforce development is certainly a part of the real puzzle that needs to be put together at the state. There are challenges, there are opportunities, and I think we’re moving in the right direction, but we certainly have to put together some...connect some dots, if you will.”

(Listen to our interviews with Mandy Wright and Bob Kulp on our website by using these hyperlinks.)