Two Democrats stepped up for a chance to serve as the next congressional representative in Wisconsin’s 7th District on Monday, Oct. 14.

Tricia Zunker of Wausau and Lawrence Dale of Eagle River each announced their candidacy for the seat vacated in September by Sean Duffy in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Zunker is an attorney who serves as Wausau School Board president. In 2013, she was elected by her people, the Ho-Chunk Nation, to serve as an associate justice of the Ho-Chunk Supreme Court. She was re-elected in 2017.

From her office in Wausau, Zunker also teaches remotely as a professor at the California School of Law where she serves as dean of faculty, University of Maryland’s legal studies program and Colorado State University’s Global Campus in the criminal justice department to help non-traditional students achieve their academic goals.

Tricia Zunker, Wausau School Board president, announced her candidacy Monday, Oct. 14 for Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District (Courtesy of Tricia Zunker)
Tricia Zunker, Wausau School Board president, announced her candidacy Monday, Oct. 14 for Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District (Courtesy of Tricia Zunker)

“I had to think about it for a while, but ultimately, the farm crisis was instrumental,” Zunker said of her decision to run. “As the granddaughter of a farmer, it really breaks my heart to see these farms closing down, farms that have been in existence for generations.”

Zunker said as a member of the school board, she is also well aware of the issues facing working families and this is a chance to help these families.

“I definitely want to see that working families have access to affordable health care, see lower prescription drug prices, want help for our farmers, and want to ensure our environment is protected,” Zunker said.

For information on Zunker’s campaign, visit triciaforwisconsin.com.

Dale has worked in a variety of settings as a businessman and currently selling Medicare supplemental policies in addition to other health-related insurances. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and holds a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations from the University of Oregon.

In Congress, Dale said he will focus on bringing good-paying jobs to the 7th District, and work to secure universal health care, protect natural resources and combat climate change.

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“We’re at a critical juncture in this country right now,” Dale said. “We have the Trump administration in there doing what they can do through their policies and practices totally undermining our democratic society, totally undermining the principles upon which our government was founded. We have a special election coming up and I think the eyes of the entire nation are going to be on this election.”

Dale said people in the 7th Congressional District see that Trump isn’t performing and he’s letting corporate interests run over the people.

“Running for Congress, running against a tyrant like Trump, is really about the most service that at my age I can render,” Dale said.

For information about Dale’s campaign, visit lawrencedaleforcongress.com.

Zunker and Dale will face off in the primary election scheduled for Monday, Dec. 30.