Democratic incumbent Joe Parisi is running for a fourth term in the 48th Assembly District against independent Grant Gilbertson and Republican Spencer Zimmerman.
Address: 5848 Holscher Road, McFarland
Current job: Student
Political experience: None
Other public service: None
Education: Freshman at UW-Madison
Family: Married, two children
Address: 702 McLean Drive, Madison
Education: Attended Middleton High School; Madison Area Technical College; bachelor's degree in sociology, UW-Madison
Current job: State representative
Political experience: Dane County Clerk 1996-2004; elected to Assembly 2004; re-elected since 2006.
Other public service: Former member: Operation Fresh Start (board of directors); Atwood Community Center (board of directors).
Address: 4724 Burma Road, McFarland
Education: Bachelor's degree, business administration, Edgewood College, 2006; associate's degree, information systems technology, Community College of the Air Force, 2003.
Current job: Full-time candidate; author of the novel "The Epoch Point"; volunteers at Learning and Beyond Preschool
Political experience: Prior candidate for state Assembly, Dane County executive, Stoughton alderman, McFarland Village Board, Dane County Board
Other public service: Four years active duty Air Force, Joint Service Achievement Medal for meritorious service on 9/11, Lyman Anderson Award for Public Service, American Legion Member
What will be your first piece of legislation?
Gilbertson: Restoring voting rights to felons on parole and probation.
Parisi: Two of my priorities will be 1.) co-authoring a version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, legislation that will increase the use of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and biomass, and 2.) reintroducing the Child Victim Act, legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations for civil causes of action for victims of childhood sexual assault.
Zimmerman: My first priority will be to reduce our deficit and pay off our debt. ... Our national debt is $13 trillion and climbing, while Wisconsin's deficit has swelled to over $2.5 billion. This path cannot be sustained. Our government needs to begin living within its means, just like the rest of us. We need to look at every dollar spent and ensure it is being used efficiently.
To get the state economy moving again, I think the state should:
Gilbertson: Give more incentives and monetary benefits to small businesses to work with the state in improving transportation, renewable energy, and infrastructure as a whole.
Parisi: Focus our resources on creating the best and most appropriately educated workforce — one that matches the needs of employers and the industries we hope to retain and attract. The fundamentals of our economy are changing rapidly; we must be prepared for those changes. Only by investing in education — from early childhood to K12 to technical colleges and our university system — will we be able to compete with other states and with other countries on a short- and long-term basis.
Zimmerman: We need to create a business-friendly environment in Wisconsin that will bring new jobs and opportunity to the state by preventing tax or fee increases and promoting innovation by eliminating regulations that stifle entrepreneurs.
What one piece of legislation would you most like to see repealed?
Gilbertson: The ban on same-sex marriage.
Parisi: We spend $1.2 billion annually on corrections in Wisconsin, the same amount we spend on the entire University of Wisconsin System. Too many of our criminal justice policies are based on rhetoric rather than on what actually works to reduce crime. I would like to revamp the entire one-size-fits-all sentencing structure in order to allow for smarter, evidence-based sentencing decisions and more discretion for judges and juries.
Zimmerman: I would repeal the law that created the Dane County Regional Transit Authority and bequeathed it with the power to raise the sales tax.