Home » News » Gruszynski faces Shelton in 90th Democratic primary

Gruszynski faces Shelton in 90th Democratic primary

By Press Times Staff

GREEN BAY – The Democratic primary Aug. 11 for Wisconsin’s 90th Assembly District is between incumbent Staush Gruszynski and challenger Kristina Shelton.

Gruszynski was elected in 2018. He came under fire last year after admitting he verbally sexually harassed a legislative employee.

As a result, he was stripped of his committee assignments and was unable to caucus with state Democrats.

Shelton has served on the Green Bay Area Public Schools board since being appointed in 2018. She was elected to a three-year term in 2019.

The Press Times emailed each candidate the same questions and gave them 100 words to answer each one.

The 90th Assembly District covers almost all of the City Green Bay.

The winner of the primary will go on to face Republican Drew Kirsteatter in the Nov. 3 general election.

Staush Gruszynski

Why are you running to represent District 90?

I am running for reelection because in these uncertain times Green Bay has big problems to solve, and they need someone with legislative experience and a proven track record of results.

Democrats are deep in the minority, and Green Bay voters need an elected official that will reach across the aisle to work toward solutions for our community.

I’m proud to have passed bipartisan legislation in the State Assembly to start to move the coal piles downtown, lift Medicaid restrictions during a pandemic and increase water quality in the Bay of Green Bay.

Staush Gruszynski

How should the state fund public schools while dealing with the pandemic?

We should cap the voucher program and make sure that we are not funding two separate school systems.

The state should not solve this funding crisis on the backs of our students and teachers.

The state will also need to look for unique funding sources with a potential $2 billion projected shortfall.

We should expand Medicaid and take the federal money, close the dark store loophole so big box retailers are paying their fair share, legalize cannabis, and cap the agricultural and manufacturing tax credit that gives millions of dollars of tax breaks to the richest people in Wisconsin.

Were the Safer at Home orders a good thing to come from the Evers’ administration? Why or why not?

The Safer at Home orders from Gov. Evers were critical in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The orders gave our hospital systems the critical time they needed to make sure that they were prepared for a potential spike of cases in our community and had the tools they needed to respond accordingly.

Unfortunately, with the Republican lawsuit, we now have a patchwork of regulations across Wisconsin leaving uncertainty for businesses and local health departments left to tackle this pandemic.

I support the state legislature coming back into session to address the many COVID concerns facing Green Bay families.

What’s the best way to encourage voter participation with people concerned about COVID-19?

I was proud to co-author the bipartisan Emergency Election Act with Rep. Joel Kitchens after the disastrous spring election here in Green Bay.

The bill was the product of several weeks of negotiations to find common ground on how we could protect the safety and security of our elections during a pandemic.

The legislation introduced would expand absentee ballot applications statewide, increase transparency in ballot tracking, remove the witness signature and increase the amount of polling locations during a pandemic.

The Wisconsin Election Commission has already started to act on several of the planks in this bill.

What is the best thing you can say about your primary opponent?

I appreciate my primary opponent’s work while she was at the YWCA and her dedication to helping diverse communities in Green Bay.

We both agree that it is important work and that we as a community – non-profits, governments and school districts – need to continue to reach out so we can build the strongest future possible for all our citizens.

Kristina Shelton

Why are you running to represent District 90?

I’m running because I want to fight for the working families in the 90th Assembly District so that our state makes it through this crisis stronger, more democratic and more equitable.

We face an unprecedented public health challenge, a diminished budget that could threaten valuable services like public education and growing environmental challenges we see with every incident of flooding here in Green Bay.

Unfortunately, because of my opponent’s actions, he can no longer caucus with Democrats or serve on committees.

The problems we face are too pressing for Green Bay not to be fully represented in the Assembly.

Kristina Shelton

How should the state fund public schools while dealing with the pandemic?

As vice president of the Green Bay school board, I know how essential our great public schools are.

It’s important to recognize that we have the resources in our state to fully fund public education, including the special education services so many of our kids need.

When Americans face hardships, we share sacrifices.

During this crisis, we need to eliminate tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, and ask the corporations making record profits during the pandemic to pay their share.

We also need to sunset the voucher program, which siphons millions away from the public schools.

Were the Safer at Home orders a good thing to come from the Evers’ administration? Why or why not?

I supported Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order because it was critical to slow the curve of the spread of the virus, particularly as hospitals were getting overwhelmed elsewhere.

While I believe there should be limits on the governor’s authority to issue an indefinite order, it is also deeply unfortunate that there was no phased re-opening of businesses and public facilities in the state.

Moving forward, we must use evidence-based, public health approaches to determine the best course of action to slow the spread of COVID now that it is on the upswing again.

What’s the best way to encourage voter participation with people concerned about COVID-19?

The safest way to vote in August and November is by absentee ballot.

I supported the April bill introduced by Democratic Assembly leaders to ensure both elections could be done entirely by mail.

I am glad to see the City of Green Bay taking proactive steps to ensure citizens can vote safely and without long lines in the August primary.

Through my school board work, I’m proud to have helped the city expand polling locations, including two schools in the district.

I would also remind readers that they have the option to do early, in-person voting beginning on July 28.

What is the best thing you can say about your primary opponent?

Staush is a friend to many in this community.

I respect him for refocusing his attention on his friends, family and his health so he can be a good father and husband.

These journeys are never easy, especially in the public eye.

I wish him the best wherever his future takes him.

Facebook Comments
Scroll to Top