Crawford County nurse declares candidacy for Wisconsin State Senate

GAYS MILLS, Wis. (WKBT) – Jayne Swiggum is announcing her campaign for the Wisconsin State Senate seat vacated by Jennifer Shilling.

Here is a statement from the campaign:

In the vacuum created by State Senator Jennifer Shilling’s unexpected resignation, a nurse from the center of Crawford County has declared her candidacy for Wisconsin State Senate. By filing her papers with the State Election Commission, Jayne M. Swiggum has taken the first steps toward becoming the Democratic Nominee for the 32nd Wisconsin Senatorial District.

“I’ve had no desire to enter into politics until a week ago when big money, cronyism, and female stereotyping lit a fire under me,” said Swiggum, a resident of scenic Gays Mills, Wisconsin.

Swiggum’s desire to run for office was a bit of a surprise to her, as this isn’t what she expected to be doing at this point in her life, but after the troubling recent events, Swiggum couldn’t sit by any longer.

“On May 8th, Dan Kapanke participated in a Tea Party rally demanding that Wisconsin reopen for business immediately,” Swiggum continued. “His disregard for the health of others was evident: no mask, standing arm in arm for photos, etc. As a nurse, I expect better of someone wanting to represent me, so I threw my hat into the ring.”

Once she set her mind to running, she immediately filed her papers with the state to begin the process to become a candidate for Wisconsin State Senate.

“I completed the online process to run, sent an email to Senator Shilling, and she called me two days later,” said Swiggum seeming a bit surprised. “I thought it was to offer some encouragement, but I was wrong. She said that I would have to campaign as close to full time as possible in order to get elected and to raise enough money to be viable. She told me I’d have to raise $300,000 to $500,000,” Swiggum said with a look of astonishment. “She also said that if I were elected, I would have to stump for monies to get reelected as soon as I hit the state capitol.”

As if the shock of the sheer impossibility of raising that kind of money weren’t enough, the former senator had even more disheartening words to share.

“She informed me that she and Representative Ron Kind were backing Brad Pfaff – her friend of 30 years whom she met when they were staffers in Ron Kind’s office,” continued Swiggum. “She did say that she had women friends who weren’t thrilled with Mr. Pfaff because they wanted to see someone in office who looked like them, ‘drove a minivan, and had great shoes!’”

Realizing that she looked more like Senator Shilling than Pfaff does, the idea of being dissuaded from running began to have the opposite effect Shilling may have intended.

“Initially, I was deflated after that ten minute phone call with Senator Shilling,” confided Swiggum. “Then I was inspired – I was going to run without taking any monies from anyone! Our system is corrupted by the influence of money and the lack of term limits. If we want to take back our political system from the obscenely wealthy and powerful, we must refuse their money. We must also initiate term limits so that our elected officials stop focusing on raising money to keep them in a job. Elected office should be seen as a service done for our community and the focus should be on improving the lives of our citizens. If service were the emphasis, there would be no room for career politicians.”

Swiggum is currently collecting signatures in order to file her papers to be on the primary ballot. More information on her candidacy and positions on local issues can be found on her campaign Facebook page: