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Assembly candidates debate on UW-L campus

94th & 96th State Assembly races

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Voters had a chance Tuesday night to learn more about the candidates in two Wisconsin State Assembly races.

They faced off in back-to-back debates on the UW-La Crosse campus.

Incumbent Democrat Steve Doyle faced-off against Republican challenger Bruce Evers first in the 94th Assembly debate.

One of the questions they were asked was whether they support state regulations for frac sand mining, which currently do not exist.

State Rep. Doyle (D-Onalaska) says he recently requested a study looking into the possible dangers of silica in the air but that study was rejected by state health officials.

"We thought it was a great idea. (That it) would answer some questions but the department decided that was not something that they wanted to do. So, I think by way of legislation, we should do that," said Doyle.


Evers says he might support state regulations as long as they don't slow down an industry that is booming in Western Wisconsin.

"When we start tying our businesses up in knots and regulations, things come to a standstill. Jobs quit. There's no employment for people," said Evers.

The second debate featured the candidates in the race for the 96th Assembly seat. Incumbent Republican Lee Nerison went up against Democratic challenger Tom Johnson.

One of the questions they were asked was about a proposed route for the Badger Coulee Transmission Line through their district.

Nerison says he would prefer a different path.

"Since I don't think we can stop it since it's gone that far, I think we have to get the right place to go. To me, if we have to choose, it's going to have to be (ATC's) first choice which is along the interstate," said Nerison (R-Westby).

Tom Johnson, however, says his opponent needs to take a stronger stance.

"I will fight it going through the 96th district. I will fight it with every ounce of my being. I have pledged to do that to my constituents," said Johnson.

You can watch the debates in their entirety on Saturday, October 13. WKBT will air them back-to-back following our 10 p.m. newscast.

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