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Rhinelander GOP Rep. 'surprised, confused' by Walker's loss, willing to work with Gov. Elect Evers Submitted: 11/07/2018
RHINELANDER - Northwoods Republican State Rep. Rob Swearingen felt a mixture of surprise and confusion when Governor Walker lost to Tony Evers early Wednesday morning.

Walker won all Northwoods counties, but couldn't get close enough in places like Milwaukee, Madison, and Kenosha.

Swearingen told Newswatch 12 he thought voter approval of the state's economic direction would be enough to carry over into a Walker win.  The Northwoods representative says he's willing to work with new governor Tony Evers, but added this election was not a "mandate" to take on more liberal policies.


"Let's produce some more bi-partisan legislation, but I will not sacrifice my Republican values either," Swearingen said.

Swearingen easily won his race against Democrat Chris Meier for the 34th Assembly District, by a 61-38 margin. He thinks his work on better broadband, rural school funding, and tax cuts all gave voters a clear choice.

"All these things put together gives the Northwoods a real good boost and I'd like to think I've been a big part of that over the last three terms," Swearingen said.

Tony Evers' experience as State School Superintendent could help Swearingen accomplish his goal of finding a better funding formula, but the Republican wants to make sure it's a balanced solution.

Swearingen says Evers' idea of the Fair Funding Formula, which funds schools better in a uniform way across the state but calls for more spending, doesn't work in his mind, but he's willing to compromise.

"Parts of it are probably just fine. Maybe we can incorporate that with some Republican ideas and values and move something forward," Swearingen said.


Story By: Lane Kimble

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