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KENOSHA — With less than 80 hours before the polls close on Nov. 6, Republican candidates made their final pitch to voters at the Mars Cheese Castle on Saturday.

Bryan Steil, the Republican nominee for the Wisconsin 1st Congressional District, drew a line on policies between himself and his Democratic opponent Randy Bryce.

“Randy Bryce supports the $32 trillion government take over scheme by Bernie Sanders that’s going to drive up the cost of our debt,” Steil said. “We know we need to lower the cost of health care by putting patients and doctors at the center of the decision-making.”

In response, Bryce said he believes health care is a right, and the government should get involved.

“This may be news to Bryan Steil, but the government is already involved in our health care system. They control Medicaid, Medicare, and VA health care. They negotiate drug prices,” Bryce said. “The GOP has no good solution to ensure everyone has access to good and affordable health care. But Bryan Steil doesn’t know what it is like to be between jobs and not have health insurance.”

While health care has been a major issue in the campaign, Steil also went after Bryce on taxes.

“Randy Bryce wants to raise taxes; we know we need to keep more money in the pocketbooks right here in southeast Wisconsin,” Steil said. “Randy Bryce thinks the answers to our problems resides in Washington, D.C.; we know the answers are right here in our own communities.”

In response, Bryce said Steil has “spoken like a true 1 percenter.”

“The GOP said from day one that they want to pay for the tax scam by cutting into Medicare, Social Security and pensions, which working people earned and depend on,” Bryce said. “I don’t want tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy happening on the backs of working people here in southeast Wisconsin, or anywhere else.”

Support from Ryan

Accompanying Steil was the man he hopes to succeed in Congress: House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Ryan urged voters to vote for Steil and other Republican candidates to keep the current policies going.

Ryan said Mars Cheese Castle is “a great story” of a family business growing expanding the number of employees.

“This is the story of our economy,” Ryan said.

“Of a great family business giving great jobs to people selling cheese at discounts to Wisconsinites, and at markups to people from Illinois,” he quipped.

Ryan also urged voters to vote for incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, whose administration he credits for pushing Wisconsin into a better economy.

“These successes don’t happen by accident,” Ryan said. “We’re seeing an economic renaissance in America … we have things heading in the right direction.”

Race for governor

Walker is in a tight race against Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tony Evers, who is the state superintendent of schools.

Health care has become a major issue in the race for governor. Walker said Evers has been lying while characterizing Walker’s stance on health care.

“In this state right now, everyone with a pre-existing condition is covered and as long as I’m your governor, everyone living with a pre-existing condition will be covered,” Walker said.

Walker touted a bill in the state Legislature that would cover pre-existing conditions. The bill has been passed by the Assembly but has not passed the Senate.

Walker said if the Affordable Care Act, which covers pre-existing conditions at the federal level, were to be repealed, he would call a special session to finish passing the state legislation to ensure coverage.

“We had protections before (the Affordable Care Act); we didn’t need a federal law to do it,” Walker said. “We can do the same thing now.”

Wisconsin and 19 other states filed suit in February, seeking to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional. Evers has been attacking Walker saying because of that lawsuit the governor is not covering pre-existing conditions.

“Politicians like Scott Walker are always talking out of both sides of their mouth and telling last-minute lies like this,” Evers said. “Scott Walker spent the past eight years trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its protections for pre-existing conditions. I’m going to protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, and Wisconsinites trust me on this issue because that’s what I’ve said since day one.”

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Reporter

Ricardo Torres covers federal, state and Racine County politics along with the Village of Mount Pleasant. He bleeds Wisconsin sports teams.

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