Candidates for State Assembly District 31 Seek Support of Walworth County Residents

Editor’s note: The Banner gave the candidates for State Assembly in District 31 an opportunity to provide a final statement before Tuesday’s primary election. As a result of redistricting, Whitewater has been split into two Assembly districts. Walworth County residents are now in District 31. There are three Republican candidates and one Democratic candidate on the primary ballot. The candidates are listed below in alphabetical order by surname.

Brienne Brown, Democratic Candidate for State Assembly District 31

Since no response was received from Ms. Brown this week, we are reprinting the announcement that she provided to us in May.

Brienne Brown, a Democrat from Whitewater, has declared her candidacy for the Wisconsin State Assembly, District 31.

My name is Brienne Brown, and I’m running for Wisconsin State Assembly, District 31, which includes the Walworth County portion of Whitewater, Whitewater Lake, Elkhorn, Darien, Richmond, Clinton, and eastern Beloit. I am running for office because I want to put my experience in politics, business, and community voluntarism to work. I want to represent all the citizens of the 31st, both rural and urban, as I work to regain local control of government and schools, strengthen Wisconsin’s stewardship of the environment. and support women and their families.

I have more experience in local politics than anyone else in this race. I am completing my second term on the Whitewater Common Council, where I serve as Council representative for the Library Board, Plan Commission, and Equal Opportunities Commissions. When I worked as the Program Director for the Whitewater Community Foundation, I helped them expand from their operations to include Community Action Grants. I also served on the board for Downtown Whitewater, a nonprofit dedicated toward revitalizing the historic downtown. During this time, we worked with local farmers to create the Whitewater City Market, a successful downtown farmers’ market.

Like most of us, I’ve changed careers more than once in my life. My husband and I moved to Whitewater a decade ago, and we both teach at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. I’ve worked as a managing editor for an open-source intelligence company (stratfor.com), as an epidemiologist for the Texas Department of Health, and in a fish cannery in Alaska. I am also a certified grant writer and own a small business.

After the last grocery store in town closed its doors in 2015, I joined other community members in founding the Whitewater Grocery Cooperative, an initiative to build a community-owned grocery store in Whitewater. The GroCo has grown to 820 members and we are on track to open our doors in 2024. As the chair of the GroCo Grants committee, I successfully applied for a $46,300 WEDC feasibility grant to secure a location and design the store.

I want to put local communities back in charge of their spending and funding. All politics are local. In fact, many of the bills that come to the legislature are researched and written by regular people like you and me. The problem is that the Republican-led legislature has consistently refused to do its job and gaveled out of session without looking at the over 250 bills that hardworking Wisconsinites have put together to improve their communities. This means that our current representatives are sitting on our hard-earned tax dollars – dollars that belong to our schools and city governments. Our schools and infrastructure remain underfunded and it’s our children and local communities that are paying the price.

Education is a top priority for me. Tony Evers has managed to undo some of the damage done by Scott Walker and a decade of gerrymandered Republican dominance, but we still have a ways to go. At both the K-12 level and UW-Whitewater, we need to make sure that our educational system is adequately funded so that all our children have the opportunity to succeed. This applies to all students in Wisconsin, regardless of their income or resident status. Wisconsin has always been lucky to have immigrants bolster our workforce and populate our schools.These hard-working community members should be able to drive legally on the way to work and school. Their children should pay the same in-state tuition rates as other Wisconsinites. Instead, we are leaving these children behind. We are failing to live up to the standards of the Wisconsin Idea, which is to solve problems and improve health, quality of life, the environment, and agriculture for all citizens of the state.

As a gun owner, I support common sense gun laws and universal background checks.

No less important is my support for state parks, clean air, and water standards. Wisconsin is a state of hunting, farming, fishing, hiking, and tourism. We live in some of the most beautiful and water-rich country of the United States, and we should act as good stewards. I will work to strengthen laws that protect the lands we live on and give back control to local governments so the citizens, not the corporations, can decide what happens in their backyards.

I want to get women the resources they need to work and take care of their families. Fifty-eight percent of the workforce is female. We should have universal 4k and paid maternity/paternity leave, so that a woman’s paycheck doesn’t simply turn into a childcare payment. We need a strong Medicaid program that lifts Wisconsin families out of poverty. We need better access to healthy food. Women should have the power to decide how and when to start their families. Women’s rights are human rights.

We need to work smarter, we need to work harder, and we need to work together.

For more information about Brienne Brown, visit BrienneForWisconsin.com or find me on Facebook @BrienneDieboltBrown or Instagram @brienneforwisconsin

Jason Dean, Republican Candidate for State Assembly District 31

Since no response was received from Mr. Dean this week, we are reprinting the announcement that he provided to us in April.

Jason Dean Announces Run for 31st Assembly District Seat

LaGrange Republican to bring experience as a Marine Corps. Veteran, Father, Businesses Leader and
Community Volunteer to State Assembly

LaGrange, April 18 – Jason Dean, a Republican from LaGrange, today announced his candidacy for the Wisconsin State Assembly. Jason is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, father, private sector business leader, and active
community volunteer. He promises to bring experience, commitment, and commonsense conservative
values to Madison on behalf of the people of the 31st Assembly District.

“After serving our country for over 20 years in the United States Marine Corps., I now have a strong
desire to serve Wisconsin, and I see a state in need of help. Politicians in Washington and Madison like
Joe Biden and Tony Evers are leading us in the wrong direction. I’m running to get back our way of life,
empower Wisconsin families and local communities, not big government, and return commonsense
leadership to our state,” said Jason Dean.

Jason served over two decades in the United States Marine Corps and deployed for multiple tours of
duty in Iraq. In 2006, Jason was wounded in action by enemy fire. He was subsequently awarded the
Purple Heart Medal.

Jason held leadership roles throughout his military career and achieved the rank of Master Sergeant. His
final duty station included serving as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in
the Pentagon. The same sense of service to our nation that inspired Jason to enlist in the Marine Corps
motivates his efforts to serve in elected office.

Upon his retirement from the military in 2017, Jason and his family relocated to Wisconsin and settled in
LaGrange. In 2018, Jason began volunteering for Congressman Bryan Steil’s campaign and served as
Field Director, coordinating the grassroots efforts for the campaign. After helping Congressman Steil win
the election, Jason accepted a position at ABC Supply Company, Inc. to serve on a divisional leadership
team.

On a volunteer basis, Jason serves as an Advanced EMT with the Lauderdale-LaGrange Fire Department
and on Whitewater Fire Department (WFD). In 2021, Jason was elected to the WFD Board of Directors
as the Vice-President. Jason holds leadership roles in various veterans’ service organizations in
Wisconsin including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) where he advocates for veterans and their
benefits.

Jason lives in LaGrange with his wife, Jessica and his teenage son Jeffrey. Jason also has two adult sons
currently serving in the United States Marine Corps.

Ellen Schutt, Republican Candidate for State Assembly District 31

“Growing up on a farm in Walworth County gave me a deep understanding of our area and sincere appreciation for our values. The last few months of meeting people on the campaign trail have only deepened that understanding and appreciation. I’ve had the honor of meeting thousands of you at events, parades, and at your doorsteps. We’ve talked about how inflation is hurting families and the need to support our first responders who protect us and keep us safe. Most of all, we agree that our communities need a strong voice to advocate for our conservative principles. As your representative, I’ll be that voice. I’ll fight to cut wasteful spending, lower taxes, and support our police so that we can afford to keep our homes, raise our families, and live in safe communities. I’m asking for your vote on August 9th in the Republican primary for State Assembly. Thank you!”

Maryann Zimmerman, Republican Candidate for State Assembly District 31

Since no response was received from Ms. Zimmerman this week, we are reprinting the announcement that she provided to us in April.

It is with pride that the Maryann Zimmerman for Wisconsin State Assembly announces Maryann’s bid to run for the open assembly seat for the 31st District Assembly Seat. The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s reversing its previous decision to use the Republican district map instead of the map submitted by the Governor Evers’ Administration resulted in Maryann Zimmerman, a first-time state candidate becoming ineligible for the Senate race in the 15th district. Rather than give up, Zimmerman changed gears. “I am a public servant and I know I have the expertise, work ethic and fortitude to serve my community well in the State Legislature.” Zimmerman is no stranger to serving her community; since moving here 8 years ago, she has held many volunteer positions within the school district and the community. Zimmerman is currently a member of the Whitewater Unified School District School Board and a State of Wisconsin Parent2Parent Advocate. Maryann’s role as a Parent to Parent Advocate includes acting as an advocate, mentor and friend to parents of children with special needs. Maryann is also a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Disability Rights Commission for the City of Whitewater and the Middle School PTO Vice-President. Professionally, Zimmerman has been the Director of the Walworth County Food and Diaper Bank, a Compliance Officer for a local manufacturer as well as presenter at a national conference on poverty and basic needs for women. Zimmerman is also a certified Six-Sigma Black Belt. ” We are at a time where normal, everyday citizens are galvanized into public service. It’s needed. My experience in quality management, equality and leadership gives me a well-rounded background to serve my community. We don’t need the same types of people running-it’s time for fresh ideas and perspectives to be infused into our state government.” Zimmerman and her husband are small business owners. The Zimmermans live on a hobby farm with 3 of their 4 children in the town of Whitewater. Zimmerman, one of 8 children, grew up in Milwaukee and Glendale and is the daughter of a retired public school teacher and homemaker.

Her new Assembly Campaign has officially kicked off and she is excited to travel to the communities within the 31st district to meet constituents and gather feedback. “I love to interact with people so please come and say, “Hi” when I am in your area; I truly have an open-door policy and welcome your input, feedback and ideas. I am running to serve the people of the 31st district.” The 31st Assembly District includes Elkhorn, Whitewater, Darien, Clinton, Parts of Beloit and the Town of Beloit and right up to Burlington and all the rural communities in between. The Zimmerman campaign website will be updated regularly with events that Zimmerman will be attending within the district at www.maryann4assembly.com.

For more information about her campaign, please visit her social media @mazi4assembly on Facebook and Instagram. She also can be reached via email at maryann@maryann4assembly.com or via her campaign hotline at (262) 753-1063.

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