WI Senate candidates debate: mining, education and transportation

By KBJR News 1

July 23, 2014 Updated Jul 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM CDT

Ashland, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- Democratic candidates vying to represent the 25th Senate District in Wisconsin, following the retirement of incumbent Senator Bob Jauch, debated in Ashland.

Democratic candidates in the primary Senate race include State Representative Janet Bewley of Ashland, Park Falls Mayor Tom Ratzlaff, and Poplar businessman Gary Kauther.

As of Wednesday, Bewley has the endorsement of the Clean Wisconsin Action Fund, along with EMILY's list and Jauch.

Topics among all candidates seemed to revolve around mining, education, the environment, and Wisconsin's funding for transportation.

"The general fund is sitting with over a billion dollars if you can't juggle that around enough you're going to have to find ways to cut," Gary Kauther said.

"If you look at the gas tax, maybe do a small bump in the gas tax because people are traveling less and getting better mileage,” Tom Ratzlaff said. “The money still has to come from somewhere for your roads, bottom line is someone has to pay for these things so the money has to come from somewhere."

"Unless we figure out a way to get more money into the transportation fund we are not going to have the roads that the rest of the states in the midwest have,” Janet Bewley said. “We just won't have them. And I don't think that's acceptable. I don't think the businesses in the state believe that that's acceptable for an economic climate to be competitive."

The winner of the August 12th primary election will face Republican Dane Deutsch of Rice Lake in the November 4 general election.

Deutsch was endorsed just a couple weeks ago by the Superior Police labor union.