Green, Schey face off in primary for 74th Assembly District
With an open seat in the 74th Assembly District, two Republicans stepped up to represent Wisconsin's largest assembly district by area.
SUPERIOR — Voters in Bennett, Gordon, Hawthorne, Highland, Solon Springs and Wascott are now part of the largest assembly district by area in Wisconsin and will cast their ballots Aug. 9 for representation in the 74th District.
Chanz Green of Grand View and John Schey of Glidden are running for the Republican nomination. The winner will face Democrat John Adams in November to determine who will represent the 74th District when Rep. Beth Meyers, D-Bayfield, steps down next year.
Meyers filed a notification of noncandidacy earlier this year.
"We need someone who can go to Madison and get things done,” Green said. “As a small business owner and a former utilities manager, I've dealt with a lot of fires I guess you could say. I roll with the punches and tend to get things done. I've worked with a lot of people ... I work well with others and I'm a team player. I think that's a good thing. It takes more than one to get things done. I'd like to go down to Madison and bring a no-nonsense approach to the Capitol.”
Schey said the 74th District is in good shape with three quality candidates that could represent the district well.
“My opponent in the primary … is a fine young man, I’ve talked to him on a few occasions and I believe we are pretty much in line with our beliefs,” Schey said.
However, he said there are notable differences between Green and himself.
“The biggest difference is that if elected, I will be a 100% full-time representative,” Schey said.
He plans to resign his current position to dedicate all of his working time to the district. Schey said he also has life experience on his side, truly knows the difference between Madison and Northern Wisconsin after being born and raised in Madison and has no other political aspirations beyond being a consistent and reliable representative of the 74th District.
Budget surplus and taxation
Wisconsin has an estimated $3.8 billion budget surplus coming out of the most recent fiscal biennium. What officials will do with it remains unclear.
“It sure is great having a rainy-day fund, but we could likely be doing even better and still even lower our taxes,” Schey said. “We still need to be more efficient with our spending and prioritize the needs of the many over the wants of the few. The state still must cut wasteful spending and also stop the all the overspending on state projects. I’ve worked on many state construction projects and the wasteful overspending is unbelievable.”
Among the things Schey said he would like to accomplish is creating a better way to analyze costs for state projects.
“Thanks to a decade of smart, conservative budgeting by the legislative Republicans, Wisconsin has gone from a $1 billion deficit to a billion-dollar surplus,” Green said. "As the next state representative, I would like to continue to support these proven results, including tax cuts. That's a big one. And investing in key economic areas like broadband and expanding workforce training programs. There's a need there and that's a good place for that money to go.”
However, Green said giving some of that money back to taxpayers should be a priority.
Green said the state should prioritize investing in workforce development and providing more resources for mental health issues in the state; however, it’s not his first priority.
“Given our budget surplus, I think one of the first actions of the state Legislature should be to send some of that money back to the taxpayers,” Green said. “Wisconsinites work hard for their money, and I think they deserve to keep more of it … I would definitely like to see tax cuts so Wisconsinites can keep more of that money in their pocket.”
Keeping the budget in a strong position should always be a priority, Schey said. In addition, he said the state needs make Wisconsin’s education system one of the best in the nation and keep it that way.
However, updating infrastructure, especially in rural areas, and broadband in areas where it’s most needed is also a priority, Schey said.
Wisconsin’s abortion law
With the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade and returning the decision on abortion to the states, both candidates say they believe in the right-to-life but would consider changes in Wisconsin’s law that would allow for exceptions.
“In general, I’m a right-to-life person,” Schey said. "I would support the Wisconsin law being changed to allow for abortion is cases of mothers' life endangerment, rape and incest.”
Schey said based on his interpretation of the Constitution, he believes the high court made the correct decision in overturning Roe vs. Wade.
“With it now being a state decision, it may perhaps be better decided by a statewide referendum as opposed to our politicians,” Schey said.
“Abortion, I am sure, will be a major topic the next legislative session,” Green said. “While I am personally pro-life, I am open to having discussions surrounding exceptions to abortion laws in extreme cases.”
However, he said the lLgislature will need to discuss more than abortion.
“I also think the state needs more resources to support women and families in need without taking a life,” Green said.
Each of the candidates shared how they will represent the people of the 74th District in Madison.
“As their state representative, I promise to be open, honest and transparent,” Green said. “I feel that I am very approachable and if anyone has any questions or concerns, they can always come to me. Together we're going to make the 74th Assembly District a better place for us and the next generation.”
Schey said he will support good ideas and reject bad ones, irrespective of the party involved, and he won’t make party-line decisions.
“If elected, I will certainly represent the people of the 74th in an honorable and dignified way,” Schey said. “My decisions made as Assemblyperson will be based on the constitutions of the United States and Wisconsin, along with facts, data, research and input from the great people of the 74th District.”
Address: Grand View
Family: Long-term girlfriend, no children
Business/employment: Worked for Amery as assistant director of public works for 11 years; city of Ashland utilities manager for 3½ years; owner of the Pioneer Bar near Cable and Ashland Event Rentals.
Education: Graduated from Amery High School, certificates from Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, UW-Extension programs in public works.
Government and/or civic experience and organizations: Wisconsin Tavern League; Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association; National Rifle Association; Hunter Nation.
Why did you decide to run for state Assembly? “Over the last year and a half, with running new businesses and getting to know a lot of people in the area, I see them struggle with fighting inflation and making personal cuts and sacrifices to account for that. It’s been infuriating, and I figured it’s time to get involved. I think Madison has too much say in how we live here in Northern Wisconsin, and I’d like to go down there and be Northern Wisconsin’s voice.”
John A. Schey
Address: 22624 State Highway 13. Glidden
Family: Wife, daughter, two grandchildren.
Business/employment: Currently, five years as an electronics technician at BW Paper Systems in Phillips; prior to that spent more than 20 years as a project manager at Lewis Sound and Professional Video in Waukesha.
Education: AAS in electronics technology
Government and/or civic experience and organizations: No previous experience.
Why did you decide to run for state Assembly? “I guess due to me just being me. I had many friends over the years tell me I should really just do one of two things — defuse bombs and run for office. Well, apparently age 58 is little old to start defusing bombs. Then the old saying goes: ‘If you want it done right, do it yourself.’ Well, I just grew tired of just voting and crossing my fingers hoping for the best. I decided that with my abilities to just get along with people and earn their trust, I could do some good and just maybe get our state government working together again, while at the same time giving the people of the 74th a clear voice in Madison.”