WAUSAU - In the 2012 elections, the campaign for Rep. Sean Duffy's 7th congressional district seat become the most expensive congressional race in Wisconsin history.
Duffy cruised to a win over Democratic challenger Pat Kreitlow.
Heading into 2014, Duffy has a new challenger, and she opened her campaign with a punch.
"Too many people feel that Sean Duffy isn't willing to listen to our concerns, to work on our behalf, or to vote in a way that represents our best interests," said Ashland Democrat Kelly Westlund.
Westlund came out swinging on the first day of her bid to unseat Republican Congressman Sean Duffy Tuesday in Wausau.
"Unlike Sean Duffy, I plan to do more than ask for your vote. I plan to earn it," she told supporters.
Westlund slammed Duffy time and time again to open her campaign.
"I need to make sure I can draw the contrasts and show people how I'm different from Sean Duffy. But I think that it's not necessarily anti-Sean Duffy to tell the truth and say that he says one thing in the district and votes another way when he gets back to Washington, D.C.," she told reporters after the event.
If she's elected, Westlund will make a huge political jump.
She currently serves on the Ashland City Council.
By contrast, the sprawling 7th Congressional District covers roughly the northern third of Wisconsin.
While attacking Duffy for his actions in office, she said she will wait until she's heard from more people in northern Wisconsin roundtable events to form her own specific policy ideas.
"Those are going to help me solidify some policy positions, and at that point, I'll be able to present some positive alternatives to what Sean Duffy has to offer," Westlund said.
But she took a strong stand Tuesday on a fairly controversial issue - the Affordable Care Act.
"I'd like to see it expanded. I'd like to see it expanded, I'd like to see negotiation over drug prices, I would like to see a public option, frankly," she said.
Westlund said Tuesday she's most interested in presenting the positive vision for the future of the congressional district during her campaign.
But she started by targeting Duffy, and the Republican Party of Wisconsin labeled her Tuesday as "nothing more than a blank check for Barack Obama and a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi's backward agenda."
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander couple thought they were empty nesters. However, an experience volunteering made them open their doors back up to kids who need a temporary home. The Zoerb's adult children moved out years ago. But at any moment they could get a call from social services that make them bring out their parenting skills for another round. Rick and Danielle Zoerb work together as realtors putting people in homes that are the perfect fit. However, the husband and wife know their home can be a good fit for others too. "There's no reason for kids to have to fall through the cracks," said Dani. Rick met a child at a mentorship program a few years ago. It was a meeting that opened a new door for him and his wife. "There was no hesitation on our part when we felt the situation was deteriorating for this young boy," said Rick.
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