WAUKESHA – The voters in the 33rd Assembly District may have nearly as many candidates as voters in Tuesday’s primary election.
There are five Republicans vying for the opportunity to run in the Jan. 10 general election against Democrat Patrick Byrne, a teacher from the town of Delafield who ran unsuccessfully against Vrakas in 2004. Byrne is unopposed.
The election is needed to fill the post vacated by state Rep. Daniel Vrakas, R-Delafield, who left after winning the position of Waukesha County executive.
The 33rd state Assembly district that Vrakas has represented since 1990 includes the town and city of Delafield; villages of Chenequa, Hartland, Nashotah, North Prairie and Wales; the towns of Genesee and Mukwonago; and parts of the town and city of Waukesha.
Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said the voter turnout could be very low, particularly if the weather is cold or snowy.
“I don’t really have anything to measure this up against but the election so far has been pretty quiet,” she said. “The primary is not going to bring out nearly amount of voters that the Jan. 10 election will. And the weather is big. If it snows, it could bring all the numbers way down.”
Running for the Republican Party nomination are:
*Troy Fullerton, town of Waukesha, small business owner.
*David Marlow, Hartland, engineering consultant.
*Scott Newcomer, Elm Grove and soon-to-be Delafield resident, a small business owner.
*Jack Perry, town of Delafield, school administrator.
*Kent Woods, town of Delafield, lobbyist.
The candidates have acknowledged they have virtually identical stands on the issues. The basic issues brought out at the forums have centered on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the conceal carry of weapons, a constitutional amendment to prevent same-sex marriage, requiring a photo ID to vote, and repeal of the annual automatic state gas tax increase.
Each candidate has claimed he has valuable leadership experience that makes him the best choice.
Fullerton pointed to his membership in “Freedom Works,” a group that fights for tax reductions. He has also emphasized the support of the Waukesha Taxpayers League.
Marlow has cited his primary campaigns against former state Sen. Joanne Huelsman, R-Waukesha, and his former duty in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Newcomer, an Elm Grove resident who is moving to Delafield, claimed to be the leader in family values issues and has been active in the pro-life movement.
Perry points to his experiences as a school administrator and his 25 years in the Marine Corps, including 25 months in combat leading a battalion of 600 men. Perry said he would not hesitate to buck GOP leadership in Madison to further his goals.
All five candidates signed a “unity pledge” vowing to support the eventual winner of the primary in the general election.
The winner will serve the rest of the unexpired term left by Vrakas, through the end of 2006. So the winner will have to seek reelection to another two-year term in about a year.
State Elections Board pre-primary reports filed this week show Newcomer having raised $40,900 and spent $33,321, which leads the pack so far.
Woods raised $15,231 and spent about $11,610, according to finance reports.
Fullerton raised about $10,040 and spent $3,266. Perry has raised $6,325 and spent $5,328. Marlow raised $2,250 and spent $1,992.
The candidates will also have to file financial statements on Jan. 3, Jan. 31, and Feb. 9.
So far Vrakas, 50, has not decided to endorse any of the candidates. The Republican served in the state Assembly since 1990.
The position pays about $46,000 annually.