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When: Tuesday, November 8th, 2022; polls open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Find your voting location at myvote.wi. All absentee ballots must be requested by November 3rd and turned in no later than 8:00 p.m. on November 8th either by mail or dropped off in-person. In-Person absentee voting will start Tuesday, October 25th and end Friday, November 4th. You can vote early Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you plan to vote by mail, voters are strongly encouraged to mail their ballots as soon as possible to ensure their ballot is received by the deadline.

What it’s about: The Wisconsin State Senate is made up of 33 senators, 1/2 of which are up for election every two years and are elected for four year terms. This year, the odd numbered Senate districts are up. Incumbent Janet Bewley will not be seeking reelection. The candidates for District 25 Senate are:

• Kelly Westlund (D-Ashland) Website
• Romaine Quinn (R-Cameron) Website

Who can vote: The election is open to residents of the 25th Senate District. Click on the image to pull up a more detailed and interactive map.

Where you vote and who is on your ballot:
• Go to
• Enter your voting address to learn which races are on your ballot and where you vote.

Why this questionnaire: The Good Government Council (GGC) is a committee of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce dedicated to encouraging voter participation and providing members of the business community with non-biased information about candidates’ positions on important issues. Although the Chamber is active in policy issues, it is non-partisan and does not endorse political candidates.

Unfortunately, we did not receive a response from Kelly Westlund.

Candidate Responses

1.) Why are you running for this office, and what are the top three priorities you will emphasize if elected to the next session of the legislature?

Kelly Westlund: No response

Romaine Quinn: Northern WI tends to get left behind in our state Capitol. When we talk about how we fund our local schools, roads, or healthcare systems, our challenges are much different than other parts of the state that seem to get the most attention. That is why it is so critical that we have effective and pragmatic legislators who are more interested in doing the job rather than scoring political points. During my previous six years in the state assembly I focused on building the necessary relationships that allowed me to be effective for my district, and that is exactly what I plan to do once again for the 25th state senate district.

2.) What role should state government take in supporting a vibrant business economy in Wisconsin? What specific actions or policies would you propose to accomplish it?

Kelly Westlund: No response

Romaine Quinn: The government doesn’t create jobs, but it can create an environment that is conducive for job creation. While the state is sitting on an enormous amount of cash, we should be finding ways to help our businesses improve their bottom lines, such as eliminating the personal property tax. We must also continue to reject the calls from Governor Evers and legislative democrats to increase taxes on our businesses, such as getting rid of the Manufacturing and Agricultural Tax Credit. Rural Wisconsin is dotted with unique manufacturing facilities that tend to be the lifeblood of our smaller communities. Making it more expensive to do business hits our smaller towns much harder than larger communities who can better weather economic downturns. We must also keep an eye on our regulatory agencies. In many cases the legislatures will create law, but the agencies that carry them out will write rules that tend to be more burdensome than the legislature intended.

3.) Businesses today face several significant workforce challenges, with more jobs open than individuals available to fill them. Among these issues are demographics related to the size of the workforce; state support to recruit and retain employees to the area; housing supply and affordability; and a crisis in childcare availability for working parents. What is the legislature’s role in addressing these issues?

Kelly Westlund: No response

Romaine Quinn: The challenges we face today are interconnected. You can’t recruit employees to come to the area if you don’t have housing. If you don’t have housing, you can’t grow, which impacts your local schools, your tax base, and the customer pool for your local businesses. All of these issues must be addressed together. – Continue to grow our worker pipeline and keep our existing talent here with greater collaboration among our educational institutions and businesses. – Look for creative ways to reduce the cost of housing by re-examining our state and local regs, sales tax holiday on construction materials, etc. – Continue to expand broadband to our rural areas so families have the necessary infrastructure to move here. – Work with businesses to find creative ways to expand daycare services on site or by helping support childcare spots at other locations. – Coordinate with our Dept of Tourism to not only showcase WI for vacationing, but for moving here fulltime as well.

4.) The 2019-21 State Budget included funding for the first phase of the new Science and Health Sciences Building at UW-Eau Claire to replace aging and obsolete Phillips Hall. The University is now awaiting the second phase funding so that it can begin construction. What level of priority will you put on ensuring that funding is included in the state’s 2023-25 budget, and what steps will you take to make that happen?

Kelly Westlund: No response

Romaine Quinn: When I previously served in the state assembly I worked closely with Chancellor Schmidt and my area Republican colleagues to champion this project. Although not in my district, I could clearly appreciate the significance of this project and how it will benefit northern WI as a whole. That is why I found it somewhat discouraging that the people representing the actual campus couldn’t being themselves to be a “yes” on that previous state budget. A project of this magnitude, which includes tremendous private partnerships, should be able to transcend party politics. Once in office I look forward to once again working with all of my colleagues to see this project through. As a former BlueGold myself, I know how badly this building is needed.

5.) Why should a business person in the Chippewa Valley vote for you to represent them in the state legislature?

Kelly Westlund: No response

Romaine Quinn: I can’t stress enough how important it is to have representatives in government who are effective, realistic, and who keep one foot in the real world/private sector at all times. Government can certainly play a role in helping address the issues we face, but be wary of those who believe government is always the final solution. During my six years in the state assembly it became clear just how important it was to have enough adults in the room that were able to balance the budget and not overpromise. There are many in the capitol who view you and your business as an endless cash cow, which is simply unrealistic. If you believe we need more common sense, conservative business values in Madison, I would appreciate your support this coming November.

More Information
Election 2022: Guide to the Fall General Election (Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce)

Posted by Danya Morman, Governmental Affairs Intern

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