Sen. Jennifer Shilling announces re-election campaign for 32nd Senate District

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling is officially looking for re-election after announcing her bid for the 32nd Senate District Wednesday.

Shilling was elected to office in 2011, beating incumbent Dan Kapanke in a recall election, but now the tables have turned. Shilling is the incumbent and Kapanke will be her challenger after launching his campaign bid for the 32nd Senate District seat earlier this week.  

Shilling said she is proud of what she has accomplished and said she is on the right path to do even more if re-elected.

For the past five years, Shilling has been the voice of La Crosse area voters at the state Capitol.

“I am very honored they have placed their trust in me,” said Shilling.

Shilling will be going up against Kapanke in November. There is a past between them but they hope to focus on the issues at hand.

“I want to be talking about being forward-looking here in the state,” said Shilling.

“It’s going to be a campaign of the issues,” said Kapanke.

Shilling says she would like to work on relieving students in debt.

“There is a great opportunity to help new graduates and young professionals who are saddled with student loan debt. We need to do a better job of helping them,” said Shilling.

Kapanke said more needs to be done for veterans.

“I am a veteran, another area of grave concern for me — and none of us want to hear another horror story about veterans not being treated well,” said Kapanke.

Both candidates running for the seat in the 32nd Senate District say transportation needs to be at the top of the list.

“We can’t ignore it. We can’t look down the road. We can’t borrow any more money, we’ve done that,” said Kapanke.

“There have been a lot of options put on the table, everything from indexing, to gas tax, to looking at revenue through licensing and registration. But every option put on that table, Gov. Scott Walker says he will veto,” said Shilling.

Kapanke said he is jumping back in the political scene to make a difference.

“I am excited to be part of a conservative, common sense voice here in western Wisconsin,” said Kapanke.

But Shilling wants to stay in the Senate because she believes that “common sense Republican voice” that Kapanke is talking about is destroying Wisconsin.

“I believe that voters will have a long memory of where we were and the divisiveness of standing with Gov. Walker time and time again has brought to this state,” said Shilling.

Both candidates will begin circulating nomination papers, which are due back to the Government Accountability Board by June 1.