A Democrat has jumped into the race for the 35th Assembly seat.
Mark Martello of Tomahawk announced he's a candidate for the seat which encompasses portions of Lincoln, Langlade, Marathon, Oneida and Shawano counties. Martello is a clinical social worker and is retired after 27 years in the military. This is his first attempt at public office.
He was asked why he was running...
"....when I look at what is going on with our representation in Madison, it really doesn't look like they're representing us. It looks like they're representing their big money donors, so they're making it easier to pollute groundwater with mining. They're not fully funding our schools. They're simply not taking care of us...."
Besides education and the environment, Martello says a decision by the Walker Administration to not accept federal Obamacare dollars actually cost Wisconsin hundreds of millions of dollars...
"....something like 80,000 additional people could have been insured if we had taken the Medicaid expansion. Not only would we have insured 80,000 more people but we would have saved very large numbers(of dollars). It looks like they're sticking to strict ideology or supporting big money donors...."
Martello was a medical health officer when he was on active duty. Since his retirement, he's been working for the Department of Veteran's Affairs. He says he's had much experience working with management and leadership. He says he's run a drug and alcohol program and has been a psychotherapist for many years. He thinks those skills will translate to representing the 35th Assembly district. Martello says he wanted to run after he saw much he disagreed with going on in Madison.
The incumbent is Republican Mary Felzkowski of Irma.