Attorney General candidates make campaign stop in Eau Claire

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Although it's still July, we're only a few weeks away from an election day for state office.

The race for Wisconsin Attorney General has four candidates; one republican and three democrats. The democrats have a primary Aug. 12.

They're running to succeed republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. Last fall, he announced that he won't run for a third term.

With a primary election for the democratic nomination for Wisconsin attorney general, two candidates made their way to Eau Claire Wednesday on the campaign trail.

“I know coming from a smaller community, the issues that matter to rural voters,” Susan Happ (D) attorney general candidate said.

“We need to have someone with some strength and experience that's going to protect the rights of our citizens,” Jon Richards (D) attorney general candidate said.

“The gay marriage issue is challenging existing laws in the state of Wisconsin. Any person running for that office is going to have that issue to deal with,” political analyst John Frank said.

In one of the hot button issues the winner will face, democrats Happ, Ismael Ozanne and Richards share views on ending the gay marriage ban and republican Brad Schimel said he hopes to defend it.

“When we take the oath of office, we take an oath to defend Wisconsin's constitution, not to pick and choose which parts we like and then not defend the ones we don't like,” Schimel said.

“They should be entitled to the same recognition that heterosexual couples are entitled to so that's the crux of the decision is that we have to treat people equally,” Happ said.

“(Van Hollen) has been using every resource available to block marriage equality in Wisconsin and I think we need to be using those resources to ensure marriage equality in Wisconsin,” Richards said.

“The federal court ruled it's unconstitutional. We need to make sure we aren't having state sponsored discrimination. We need to stand up and fight for the citizens of Wisconsin,” Ozanne said.

Frank said the difference could be which candidate is most making his or her presence known throughout the state.

“At this point, you'd have to say it's wide open, as in most races, it's who is best organized, who is getting to the people, shaking hands, and so on,” Frank said.

The primary is Aug. 12 and the general election is Nov. 4.

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