EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Two candidates for a soon-to-be vacated 91st Assembly seat used differing styles Tuesday to announce their respective campaigns.
Jodi Emerson (left) and Rich Postlewaite (right).
Joined by supporters in downtown Eau Claire, Jodi Emerson announced her campaign for the Democrat nomination.
"It really is kind of a tight, packed-in district and it really reflects a lot of my values of Eau Claire being home and Eau Claire being community," Jodi Emerson said to WEAU 13 News on Tuesday.
In a one-on-one interview at WEAU, Rich Postlewaite – who ran several times for state office in the 1990s and is now a lecturer at UW-Stout – is once again diving back into running a campaign.
"I just believed was a perfect opportunity to bring the experience that I have – whether it's teaching or as a business agent negotiating contracts – to Madison and to the capital to represent Eau Claire," Postlewaite said to WEAU 13 News on Tuesday.
Emerson and Postlewaite are the only two Democrat candidates who have filed paperwork to run for the 91st Assembly seat, which unofficially opened up last August. That’s when incumbent Dana Wachs announced his intention to run for governor. That move signaled the decision to vacate the seat in the State Assembly, regardless of how the race for the governor pans out.
Now, Emerson and Postlewaite begin a months-long journey which they hope ends with a new job title.
Emerson and Postlewaite have both spent time on the outside of state politics, but now they feel this is the time for them to be on the inside, representing the 91st. As the director of public policy for the advocacy group Fierce Freedom, Emerson said she brings experience working in Madison with Democrat and Republican legislators.
"Where we can find common ground, I think it's really important that we do,” she said. “Really, there's more things that link us together then separate us and let's build on those first."
Despite two decades since running, Postlewaite said the way Eau Claire has changed since then has energized him to run again.
"There's always a lot of unknowns in a campaign and that's part of the beauty of it and part of the challenge," he said.
No matter if it's Postlewaite or Emerson as the Democrat nominee, it'll come down to listening to – and going to – the voters.
"For the 91st, we're really looking at the city of Eau Claire,” Emerson said. “So, I'm planning on going through a couple pair of running shoes, I think, this year."
There is one Republican, Bill Ingram, who has filed paperwork to run.
The partisan primary will be August 14th. The general election is set for November 6th.