Rep. Rob Stafsholt announced in Menomonie Tuesday that he will run for state Senate in Wisconsin’s 10th District next year, saying he will be focus on the needs of northwestern Wisconsin and not those in Madison and Milwaukee.
“The 10th Senate District isn’t a spot that should be forgotten. It shouldn’t be ignored,” Stafsholt said during his announcement at Bill’s Distributing. “This area has communities filled with people who work hard and have our feet planted firmly on the ground. We don’t have heads in the cloud like the people in Madison do.”
Earlier Tuesday, the Republican made his initial announcement on his family farm in New Richmond. He also had visits in the district to Hudson, Osceola and Grantsburg scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Stafsholt has been in the Assembly for the 29th District since his election in 2016. The 10th Senate District covers Menomonie and west to the Wisconsin-Minnesota border and north into Burnett County.
He will look to challenge Sen. Patty Schachtner, D-Somerset, who took office after a special election in 2018. Republican Cherie Link from Somerset announced she will also be running for the seat in the upcoming August primary.
Stafsholt said he wants to make sure the voices in the area aren’t ignored. Gov. Tony Evers is “out of touch” when it comes to areas outside of Madison and Milwaukee, Stafsholt said.
He said Evers has pulled back on measures to distribute funds to rural areas regarding roads, schools and mental health.
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Evers “rolled back” on reform implemented during the Walker administration. Evers cut money from a budget proposal that would have given grants to schools to build fabrication laboratories, he said. Money set aside for rural roads was given to Milwaukee transit projects, and funds for locals in emergency mental-health crisis was given to Madison area, Stafsholt said.
“This past winter our newly elected Governor Evers introduced a budget that flies in our face of our vision for how to move this great state forward,” Stafsholt said.
Stafsholt said previous Sen. Sheila Harsdorf put down a blueprint for how to represent the area.
Harsdorf left the seat to become secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. She held that office until December of last year. Stafshold said Harsdorf never lost who she was and didn’t compromise on core principles, something he said won’t happen to him.
Stafsholt said he plans to run a positive campaign focused on the issues facing his constituents.
“I will work tirelessly over the next year to earn your trust, your support and your hope,” Stafsholt said. “This isn’t about me, this is about we.”