RACINE — The wind and the rain did not stop Democratic candidates from coming to Racine on Sunday to meet with supporters and fire up their base for the election on Tuesday.
At an event at the Racine Democratic Party offices on Sixth Street, candidates from up and down the ticket came out to encourage their supporters to keep working.
Democrat Randy Bryce, an ironworker from Caledonia, is running to become the first Democrat to represent Wisconsin’s 1st District since 1994.
Bryce said the congressional race is close and “we definitely have the momentum on our side.”
“I’m the guy that’s been fighting for good paying jobs in the state,” Bryce said, adding he’s going to fight for Social Security and Medicare. “We’ve seen Republican policies take those things away; they’re going after them saying ‘We can’t afford Social Security’ after giving a gigantic tax cut to the wealthiest people in the country.”
Bryce called his Republican opponent, attorney and Janesville resident Bryan Steil, a “millionaire corporate attorney” who is out of touch with the American people.
Andrew Iverson, spokesman for the Steil campaign, said Bryce’s “health care scheme would cost taxpayer $32 trillion and double taxes on individuals and businesses. Bryan Steil is focused on lowering the cost of healthcare by putting families and doctors in charge of their own health care decisions.”
Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s elections, President Donald Trump is still going to be in the White House.
When asked on what issues he could come to agreement with Trump, Bryce said he would be eager to work with the president on infrastructure.
“That’s something I’ve literally done for the last 21 years, is working on projects like that,” Bryce said. “I’m very aware of how to get them to come in under budget, on time, and just things that go along with that. I’d love to work with him on putting people back to work.”
Iverson said Bryce has been critical of Trump and is now “changing his tune on the president after nearly a year of calling of his impeachment.”
“With the economic growth southeast Wisconsin is beginning to experience, it is important that Republicans and Democrats work together to improve our nation’s infrastructure,” Iverson said.
Race for governor
Democratic gubernatorial nominee and Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers went after incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker on health care.
Wisconsin and 19 other states filed suit in February, seeking to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional.
“If he dropped that lawsuit, we would be in a better position, and he has refused to do that, and that leads anyone to believe in Wisconsin he doesn’t care about the Affordable Care Act nor does he care about the issues around pre-existing conditions protection,” Evers said Sunday.
Evers also went after Walker for cuts that were made to education prior to the most recent state budget and added that the University of Wisconsin-Parkside “is on the ballot.”
“Scott Walker has taken $250 million out of the University of Wisconsin System and if you think that isn’t going to impact Parkside, you are wrong,” Evers said. “What happens as those cuts come, professors get laid off, courses disappear, it takes students longer to graduate and you have more student debt. That’s perverse.”
Austin Altenberg, spokesman for the Walker campaign, said Evers is “trying to distract from the facts.”
“Scott Walker made historic actual-dollar investments in K-12 classrooms and has shown time and again that as long as he is governor, everyone with a pre-existing condition will always be covered in Wisconsin,” Altenberg said.
Race for U.S. Senate
Republicans are hoping to pick up a seat in the U.S. Senate, specifically the seat currently being held by Democrat Tammy Baldwin.
Baldwin said Sunday the Trump administration is “sabotaging” the Affordable Care Act which is in part driving up costs.
“I want to bring down costs by holding the drug companies accountable,” Baldwin said. “The pharmaceutical companies have been raising drug prices on life-saving drugs … they need to be transparent, they need to be accountable and they need to justify price increases.”
Baldwin’s opponent, state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, has criticized Baldwin for being in favor for “Medicare for all.”
Jess Ward, campaign manager for Vukmir, said Baldwin’s “plan for socialized medicine that destroys Medicare, Medicare Advantage and employer-based insurance for 3.4 million Wisconsinites at the hefty cost of $32 trillion.”
While issues like health care have gotten the bulk of the attention in this midterm election, the ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election will likely be affected by who gets voted into office.
Given there have been several indictments and guilty pleas, Baldwin said the investigation must come to its natural conclusion.
“I think the most important thing, in terms of getting to the bottom of Russia’s interference in U.S. elections and democracy, is that the Mueller investigation be able to continue unimpeded,” Baldwin said. “Let them get to the bottom of this, let us find out what the evidence shows. And I think any other discussion would be premature.”
Ward said Vukmir has been the target of a “political witch hunt that wrongly collected her personal emails with her daughter regarding private health matters and marked as ‘opposition research.’ ”
“She believes the investigation has gone on too long and is now a politically motivated witch hunt supporting Baldwin’s efforts to impeach President Trump,” Ward said.