ASHLAND - U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Weston) won his congressional seat in 2010, and hasn't had a particularly tight race in any of his elections.
His victories over Democrats Julie Lassa, Pat Krietlow, and Kelly Westlund gave him fairly comfortable wins.
But three northcentral Wisconsin Democrats hope to end that streak.
Wausau's Ethel Quisler and Joel Lewis, and Rothschild's Phil Salamone, want to win the Democratic nomination in August and knock off Duffy in September.
Lewis is the only one who has held elective office. He's currently a Marathon County Board Supervisor.
"I've been thinking about [running for Congress] since Sean Duffy ran, to be quite honest," Lewis said. "Then, I started to get extremely excited once he did run, once I knew he was going to privatize Social Security and Medicare. I started to think, okay, how can I become a politician? How can I do that?"
Salamone is a former General Motors union worker.
"What would be my dream job? I just [thought], I wouldn't want to be President, for sure. Senator sounds pretty good. I tell you, Congressman is damn close," said Salamone of his interest in running.
Meanwhile, Quisler spent part of her life in education.
"[My students] reminded me, they said, 'Mrs. Quisler, we graduated high school. You said you'd run for Congress.' So, that is partly why I'm running," she said.
Democrat Dave Obey represented the sprawling district for 41 years before choosing not to run for reelection in 2010. Many considered him one of the most liberal members of the House of Representatives.
We asked this year's candidates what their first piece of legislation would be, if elected to Congress.
"I think we need to spend some money on broadband, and to bring this district, and cell phone coverage, to bring this district into the 21st century," Salamone responded.
"As an idealist, I would want to focus on minimum wage first," Lewis said. "But, not knowing how the congressional races are going to be, I don't know that that's going to have a lot of traction. But that's my number one issue."
"I believe that people who got fined for not having healthcare coverage, they should get their money back," said Quisler, referring to Affordable Care Act penalties for not having health insurance. "That bill was passed premature. Something needed to be done, but it was premature."
In a three-way primary, we wanted to know how the Democratic candidates planned to differentiate themselves from each other.
"The one topic I'm talking about that neither one of them is talking about is mental health," Lewis responded. "In Marathon County, I see it constantly, heroin and meth problems."
Salamone pointed to his life experiences.
"I think I have a breadth of experience. I'm older. That helps. So I've done a lot of things," he said. "I'm a small business owner. I'm a farm mediator."
Quisler said she's not yet in the business of putting herself out there, but instead, just hearing from potential voters.
"Prior to June 1, [at] this time, I'm listening," she said. "This is the time I'm using to listen to people in the state, and to gather from them what matters more to them."
The primary election is scheduled for August 9. The winner will advance to face Duffy in November's general election.
CRANDON - People know John Muir as Father of the National Parks and an early pioneer of wilderness preservation.
The Wisconsin Historical Society is now preserving his memory with a free traveling exhibit, currently on display at the Crandon Public Library.
"Wisconsin's John Muir" includes replicas of images and manuscripts from the Wisconsin Historical Society archives. The Crandon Public Library also received 20 copies of Muir's memoir about his childhood in Wisconsin and other primary sources.
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