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NEWS STORIES

Little break for Wright in looking ahead to next campaignSubmitted: 09/20/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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.

Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Tomahawk) raised just $41.

Rep. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) hasn't reached $600 yet.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

THREE LAKES - Dozens of people gathered at Three Lakes Watersports to waterski today for the third annual Pass the Handle Day.

This worldwide project was started by two legendary wake-boarders.

People of all ages and levels geared up to ski for free.

One of the boats honks as a skier lands in the water. That's the sound of a successful trip around the lake.

Corey Seemann is one of the instructors at Three Lakes Watersports. He knows how important these moments are for kids.

"It's what makes it special," Seemann said. "Seeing people that have never had the opportunity to come out and kind of live their dream, you know, and see some of the kids just have a blast."

Kids of all different ages came out for an action packed day. Some with more experience than others.

"It's just really fun," said 8-year-old Katie Swendson. "Getting out on the water."

She just learned how to get up on one ski.

For some of the skiers, this was their first time skiing on water.

"Nervous, but once I get up I get excited that I'm up," said 10-year-old Blake Slizwski.

One of the youngest skiers was 6-year-old Jack Westfall.

He went out with only one thing in mind.

"I'm here to water ski to get a puppy," Westfall said.

His sister says they've been trying to get him to ski for a long time and puppy was an incentive to get him out there.

"Little does he know, he's getting a stuffed puppy," said his sister, Anna.
 
Stuffed or not, Jack had two successful trips around the lake, along with many other kids.

Three Lakes Watersports is open all summer long.

They hold waterski and wakeboard lessons for skiers of all ages and levels

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MERRILL - Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said he didn't want to spend too much time at the Republican National Convention last week because he wanted to get back to campaigning in his home state.

The senator from Oshkosh stopped at the Lincoln County Fair on Saturday.

He faces a tight races against former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis). 

Johnson gave a speech on Tuesday in Cleveland about national security, as he is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security.

He seems pleased with the Republican presidential ticket.

"I think it's really complimentary to the skills Donald Trump brings to the table," Johnson said. "You got Donald Trump with the private sector experience. You got Mike Pence with a real record accomplishment both in the House and as the governor of Indiana. I think it's a pretty good pairing."

He said he wouldn't pay too much attention to the speeches at the Democratic National Convention this week.

"They've got their ticket, we've got our ticket," Johnson said. "They'll make a bunch of promises they can't deliver on. And what we're going to focus on is economic growth, strengthen our economy so we can strengthen our military, so we can defeat ISIS and secure our borders." 

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CRANDON - The first annual Legionnaire Mud Challenge made its way to Crandon Saturday.

The International Off-Road Raceway welcomed nearly 200 participants who were ready to get down and dirty.

Men and women of all ages were brought together by the desire to work up a sweat.

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SHAWANO COUNTY - UPDATE 5:13 p.m.--Police say six people, including children, were taken to area hospitals after two sport utility vehicles carrying Boy Scouts crashed in Shawano County.

The accident happened Saturday morning on Highway 29 near Bonduel.

Police say one of the SUVs was towing a trailer with equipment. The driver of that vehicle went off the roadway then overcorrected and lost control. The second SUV hit the first, and both went off the road. The trailer flipped and the second SUV landed partially on top of the first.

Bonduel police Chief Todd Chaney tells the Green Bay Press Gazette that one of the injured, a troop leader, was airlifted to St. Vincent's Hospital in Green Bay with a head injury.

Chaney said he didn't think any of the injuries were life threatening.



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MADISON - Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson sees Donald Trump as the big winner at the recently completed Republican National Convention, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is the biggest loser.

Thompson spoke to The Associated Press on Friday after attending his 11th national convention. He's been to every one since 1976.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has appointed attorney Dan Kelly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Walker's spokesman Tom Everson told The Associated Press on Friday that the governor had decided to name Kelly to the seven-member court.

Kelly will replace retiring Justice David Prosser. His appointment won't change the court's 5-2 conservative majority, however.

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RHINELANDER - We finally did it. We hit 90 degrees Thursday, July 21st, for the first time in almost three years.

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