As a legislator, Peter Barca seemed to be everywhere, listening to constituents and working for them.
He leaves big shoes to fill in the 64th Assembly District as he moves on to serve as Revenue Secretary in the Evers Administration. There, he can see through some of the things he worked on in the legislature.
Evers set the special election last week to elect someone to serve the rest of Barca’s term. It will be held April 30, and if a primary election is needed, it will be scheduled for April 2, the same day as the nonpartisan spring primary.
Well before Evers made the announcement, two Democrats — Gina Walkington of Bristol and Thaddeus “Tip” McGuire of Somers — had stepped up to run.
Walkington, who challenged Rep. Samantha Kerkman, R-Salem Lakes, last year, said she would move into Barca’s district if elected. She said she is “committed to creating meaningful change” for families and is a “dedicated defender of access to safe and affordable health care.”
McGuire, a legislative aide to Barca from 2009 to 2014, is an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee County. He said he would work for “affordable health care, workers’ rights, criminal justice reform, high-quality public schools and good-paying jobs.”
Last week, Thomas Harland, a Constitution Party candidate who had challenged the incumbent Barca last year, announced he again will seek the seat. “We have given power of more and more decisions to a select few in Madison and Washington,” said the warehouse manager. “To begin the healing we need to bring the power of choice back to the communities in which we live and work.”
Candidates now can circulate nomination papers, and the form, with at least 200 signatures, must be filed with the State Elections Commission no later than 5 p.m. March 5. The required forms can be downloaded at https://elections.wi.gov/candidates/state/partisan.
The 64th Assembly District covers most of Kenosha’s north and west sides, as well as portions of Somers, Mount Pleasant and Elmwood Park. Democrats have the registration edge.
We hope more candidates show interest and district residents hear a healthy discussion of the issues. We expect a Democratic primary on April 2, but we also hope for a contested general election on April 30.
The winner will run as an incumbent when the seat is up next time. That’s a big edge.
Let’s hear ideas and select the candidate that best will listen and work for constituents, like Barca always did.