NEW INFORMATION: Vinehout announces re-election bid

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ALMA, Wis. (WEAU) -- A two-term Democratic state senator says she's running for re-election in Wisconsin's 31st Senate District.

Sen. Kathleen Vinehout made the announcement on her website on Thursday. She says her campaign will be centered on community conversations, and wants to turn the focus of spending to things like infrastructure, schools, the arts, and outdoor recreation. Vinehout, who lives in Alma, is a former dairy farmer and college professor. She was first elected to the Wisconsin Senate in 2006.

Republican Bill Ingram of Durand, who previously declared his candidacy in the 31st Senate District, says he had heard the Vinehout was raising funds and had appeared in a parade last weekend, so her announcement was no surprise. Republican Mel Pittman of Plum City says that "it's good and healthy for the people to have multiple candidates running for political office," and that he looks forward to the campaign season.
ALMA, Wis. (SENATOR KATHLEEN VINEHOUT NEWS RELEASE) —Today Senator Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, a former dairy farmer and college professor, announced her re-election bid for western Wisconsin’s 31st Senate District.

“Elections give us an opportunity to have a community conversation about what we want for ourselves, our neighbors and our neighborhood,” said Vinehout.

“What I have heard people say was best summed up this Memorial Day weekend by an 86-year-old Arcadia farmer: ‘Wisconsin is spending money in all the wrong places. Too much money is going to the well-connected and not enough is coming back to our community.’ I agree!”

“Our communities are better off when we invest in each other and invest in where we live,” Vinehout said. “We need to turn the focus back to fixing the potholes, plowing the snow, and mowing the roadsides. We need safe bridges and streets, affordable college and thriving local schools. We need art, music, and libraries. We need great places to hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors.”

“Whether it’s fighting for rural schools, affordable health care or protecting our way of life in western Wisconsin everyone has to be involved,” said Vinehout. “We have to talk with each other. My campaign will be centered on Community Conversations all over western Wisconsin.”

“Let’s make this election about the future, about us, about our community. About the kind of place in which we want to live, play, raise a family and start a business; and what are the best ways to achieve our goals,” Vinehout concluded.

Vinehout, 55, was first elected in 2006. Vinehout is a passionate advocate of affordable health insurance and fair funding for local schools. She has written two alternative budgets to properly fund schools. In her work on the Joint Committee on Audit she oversaw audits that uncovered the overuse of expensive contractors; problems with accountability and transparency; unbudgeted expenses and rising state debt.

Vinehout has a background in education, agriculture and health care. She taught health administration for 10 years and spent another decade operating the family dairy farm. While farming, Vinehout received many quality milk awards and was president of the Dairy Herd Improvement Association in Buffalo County.

Vinehout resides on an Alma farm with her family. The former dairy farm is now certified organic and produces hay, small grains, and “a great way of life.”

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