State, federal candidates talk politics with county officials

Officials from nearly every single county are in La Crosse for a three-day Wisconsin Counties Association conference. This gave candidates for state and federal positions an opportunity to get their messages out to local leaders.

Incumbent Gov. Scott Walker was the first gubernatorial candidate to take the stage, using the speech to focus on how the state has changed since he took office in 2011.

“For the seventh consecutive month, we’ve seen the unemployment rate in this state at or below 3 percent,” said Walker, a Republican.

During the conference, Walker announced a proposal to increase general transportation aids to repair county highways to 30 percent.

“We believe overall it’s important for the transportation backbone of the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said.

State Superintendent of Schools and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers shot back at Walker’s record.

“For the last eight years, there has been no movement on developing a comprehensive transportation policy,” Evers said.

Evers also called for local control over shoreline zoning and water quality standards.

“The state should be setting the floor and not the ceiling,” Evers said.

Federal legislative candidates made a stop to explain how they would bring Wisconsin values to Washington. U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, a Democrat, spoke about the opioid epidemic, infrastructure funding and working to end the rising tariffs.

“It comes with high costs, additional costs to our manufacturers back home, certainly to our farmers and ultimately to the consumers,” said Kind, who represents the 3rd Congressional District.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin gave remarks through a short video. Republican nominee for Senate Leah Vukmir spoke about health insurance coverage for a pre-existing conditions and deregulation from the federal government.

“I truly believe the government closest to the people makes the best decisions,” said State Sen. Leah Vukmir, who represents the 5th District.

These candidates will see after the general election on Nov. 6th if they can bring these ideas forward.