Jaeger facing Behnke for 89th
By Press Times Staff
NORTHEAST WISCONSIN – For the first time since 2007 the 89th Assembly District will see new representation.
Republican John Nygren resigned last December after defeating Democratic challenger Karl Jaeger a month earlier in the general election, 22,823 votes to 10,374, or 68.8 percent to 31.2 percent.
Jaeger is again running for the seat.
Advancing from a field of five Republicans in the spring primary was Elijah Behnke.
Behnke (1,643 votes, 44.54 percent) outpolled Republican challengers Mike Kunesh (862 votes, 23.37 percent), Debbie Jacques (768 votes, 20.82 percent) and Mike Schneider (257 votes, 7.02 percent).
Another Republican on the ballot, David Kamps, announced before the primary he would be supporting Behnke and placed fifth (157 votes, 4.26 percent).
The Press Times emailed both candidates the same questions and gave them 100 words to respond to each.
Behnke did not submit answers for this piece after multiple requests.
The 89th District stretches from Marinette to parts of Howard and Suamico.
Why are you running for the 89th Assembly District?
I am running for Wisconsin’s families, and for my children.
I will be a voice for our future so that every child who is raised in Wisconsin has every possible opportunity they can get – starting with ready access to quality maternal and prenatal care and a lifetime of affordable health care; a world-class public education; a clean, protected environment; and equitable, sustainable, economic opportunities right here at home.
I want to live in a place where my children will want to stay and raise their own families.
What do you hope to accomplish in Madison for the district in the next two years?
I am in this race because I believe in standing up for my neighbors.
When elected, I am prepared to sit down with my colleagues in the Legislature to coordinate a statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, increase state funding for our smaller school districts, enact responsible regulations for PFAS and sulfide mining, make health care more affordable for all Wisconsinites, and expand broadband internet access in our rural communities.
I am ready to get to work for every citizen of the 89th Assembly District.
What should the state do to help people struggling with substance abuse?
The basic function of our state government is to protect our citizens’ health and safety.
We need to guarantee access to comprehensive health services, including mental health and substance use treatment.
Our whole state benefits from a healthy population.
We need to use federal Medicaid dollars to expand BadgerCare – this will save our taxpayers their hard-earned dollars and also expand insurance coverage to over 180,000 more working people.
It would also cover substance use treatment services for our most vulnerable, currently uninsured, citizens.
What is your position on the budget bill introduced by Gov. Tony Evers?
I am pleased to see that so many of the governor’s budget proposals coincide so closely with my campaign platform, including: prioritizing PFAS remediation, restoring the state’s commitment to funding two-thirds of our K-12 public school costs, using federal Medicaid dollars to expand BadgerCare, and expanding high-speed internet access throughout Wisconsin.
I look forward to building relationships on both sides of the aisle in the Legislature – working together, we can restore our state’s proud traditions of a clean environment; great schools; good jobs; and a common-sense, people-first approach to addressing the needs of our citizens and our communities.
What is the appropriate legislative role to deal with PFAS contamination?
Dealing with PFAS contamination needs to be a top priority for our state.
Marinette County is home to the third largest PFAS contamination investigation in the entire nation.
Every Wisconsin resident should have access to clean, safe drinking water.
I strongly support the CLEAR Act (SB302/AB321), which would direct the DNR to set health advisory levels for PFAS in our water, expand the number of PFAS compounds regulated by the state, and give the DNR additional staff and resources to combat PFAS in Wisconsin.
For more information, see JaegerForWisconsin.com or visit me on Facebook at facebook.com/JaegerForWisconsin.