I’m Keith Kern, your candidate for Wisconsin State Assembly.
My opponent in this race, Nick Milroy, is a friend. However, he’s been in office for 12 years — he's seeking his seventh term — under two Democratic governors and one Republican governor, spending time in both the majority and minority in the Legislature. During that long tenure, he has not been a strong advocate for Northern Wisconsin. I’m running to change that. I’ll be the hardest working representative Madison has ever seen.
For half of my opponent’s time in Madison, Superior has been working to get an Exposition District through the Better City initiative. I am in support, along with more than 75% of Superior voters. I worked on this with the Superior City Council and traveled to Madison to lobby the Legislature for support. Rep. Milroy has not been able to get the bill passed. If he put more time and effort into it, this would have succeeded. I promise in my first term this bill will pass.
This pandemic has been incredibly difficult. I feel for those who have gotten sick or died, and their families. I know that this has taken an incredible toll on millions of Wisconsinites who watched their life’s work evaporate. Wisconsin went into a statewide shutdown without a plan, without consulting experts, and it led to disaster.
The unemployment insurance system was a debacle. I made thousands of phone calls for friends and neighbors and never got through. My opponent is fond of blaming Republicans for this, but Gov. Tony Evers never asked for any upgrades to the system, shirked his sole responsibility to reassign staff and extend call center hours, and sat on piles of money from the Federal CARES Act that he alone had authority to spend.
While our friends and neighbors struggled for months to get unemployment, my opponent made one public statement about the unemployment system and didn't ask for any systemic changes.
It gets worse. Evers’ Department of Workforce Development recently submitted its budget request for 2021-23, and guess what? They didn’t ask for money to upgrade the UI system — that same system they’ve been blaming the problems on! You need a stronger voice than what you have going into this next budget if you want to see anything change.
I’m running to be a voice that Madison needs to hear loudly and often, which they haven’t been. That’s the voice of middle-class, blue-collar Superior and northern Wisconsin. I will work to find common-sense solutions, no matter the party label.
I know Nick is running on a bipartisan record. However, the fact of the matter is that 95% of what the Assembly passes is bipartisan. It’s those other things — effective advocacy, fighting for your district, building relationships — that make the difference. We’re five hours from Madison and need to work extra hard.
My opponent has a 12-year record to speak of, under Democratic and Republican control. Can you look back over the past 12 years and think you’ve had a level of representation we should be satisfied with?
On the Superior City Council I’ve held leadership positions and spearheaded initiatives to help grow the economy and protect people during this pandemic. I’ve been endorsed by Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec, a five-time incumbent and a Democrat, because he knows I’m the right person for the job. You’ll see Kern signs in yards alongside Biden and Trump alike.
I’m a hometown guy, a business owner and a consensus builder. Now’s our chance to do something great together. I’m asking for your support this election to give you the level of representation you deserve.
Keith Kern is the Republican candidate for the 73rd Assembly District.