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Looking to build off of an encouraging state senate campaign, Bristol resident Lori Hawkins is looking to be the next Kenosha County Democratic Party chair.

Hawkins received 42 percent of the vote during the 2018 November election while opposing Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, in a tight 21st District Senate race.

“The relationships I built through my State Senate District 21 campaign last year are important to me,” Hawkins said. “There were many groups who put their faith in my desire to lead and to bring groups together. Even though I was not elected for state Senate, our campaign did well and earned 42 percent of the vote in a very gerrymandered district. I believe that the next logical step is to keep working for the people of Kenosha County in our Democratic Party.”

Rollin Pizzala, the current Kenosha County Democratic Party chair, recently announced he is not seeking re-election.

Pizzala, 71, took over in 2016 — following the resignation of former chair John Franco — and was elected to a two-year term in 2017. Tyson Froh serves as the vice chair.

Nominations for the 2020-22 executive board will by taken in September with an election held at the group’s November meeting. It is voted on by Kenosha County residents in good standing with the Democratic Party.

Pizzala said the nomination and election process follows strict bylaws and are not designed to be a political campaign. The 71-year-old said he contacted Hawkins when she announced on social media her decision to “run” for Kenosha County Democratic Party chair.

“I wish she’d quit doing that,” Pizzala said. “That’s not the way we do it. She’s getting ahead of herself. She posted it a week ago on Facebook, and I thought we told her about it but I guess she didn’t hear me.”

Hawkins said she would represent the county in working toward electing government officials who support quality health care, strong education and basic human rights for all.

“There is a lot of enthusiasm out there for our new state leadership, and I would love nothing more than to help infuse that energy into every corner of the county as well as to help this organization better reflect the diversity of Kenosha County,” Hawkins said. “I am dedicated to keeping the momentum going forward into next year’s presidential election while serving Kenosha County.”

Hawkins is a former educator turned small-business owner. The Fond du Lac native owns Sankulpa Yoga, a Bristol-based class geared toward helping youth deal with stress and anxiety while improving focus and confidence.

Pizzala said the next chair needs to be someone with a lot of energy heading into the 2020 presidential election.

“They’re going to need it,” Pizzala said.

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