WAUSAU - Mandy Wright went from middle school teacher to state representative less than a year ago.
But like many elected officials, the Wausau Democrat had to start thinking about her next election almost immediately.
It's part of what can seem like a never-ending cycle for lawmakers.
That's especially true for state representatives.
Their terms last just two years.
Wright will be up for reelection again in November 2014.
Last year, she beat Republican nominee and conservative talk show host Pat Snyder by fewer than 1,000 votes.
Wright expects another tough fight to keep her 85th Assembly District seat.
"I haven't heard yet about a candidate that's running against me, but I would be very surprised if the Republican Party does not work very hard to recruit a good candidate that they think can win in my district," she said.
Wright and Snyder's race was one of the three most expensive Assembly races in the state last year.
She might be gearing up for another expensive fight.
Wright already has raised $21,000 this year for her reelection.
That's far ahead of many others in the legislature.
For example, in our area, Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) raised about $5,000.
ONEIDA COUNTY - Back in November, a 20-year-old Rhinelander man drove and crashed his car after a night of drinking, killing his best friend in the passenger seat.
That driver will now spend nine months in jail.
Randall J. Lego was sentenced in Oneida County Court on Friday.
He faced two charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.
According to court documents, Lego's car hit a power pole on River Road just outside Rhinelander.
The passenger, 23-year-old Jacob Juedes, was dead at the scene. Juedes was a husband and father of a young daughter.
Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Patrick O'Melia said it was a tragic set of circumstances.
"The only aggravating factor here, and when I say that I don't mean to diminish the loss here, but is the result of this accident," O'Melia said. "That is the only thing that is not in your favor, which is the result of the action and the permanency of it."
Some witnesses testified to Lego's character and pleaded with the judge to not give jail time.
But, Judge O'Melia sentenced Lego to nine months in jail and seven years probation.
"There's a lot of people in the community who have strong feelings about what should happen," O'Melia said. "But the court can't sentence on community anger or community empathy."
Lego must also complete 200 hours of community service, for which Judge O'Melia wants Lego to speak to kids and teens about his experience.
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