COPY-Democrat jumps into the race for Dale Schultz's Senate seat - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

COPY-Democrat jumps into the race for Dale Schultz's Senate seat

MADISON (WKOW) -- Ernie Wittwer, a 24-year veteran of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, is running as a Democrat in the 17th Senate District.

Wittwer made his announcement outside the State Senate chambers Tuesday morning.

"I am running to provide Wisconsin's 17th State Senate District with the progressive leadership we have long desired," Wittwer said today after his announcement. "I've lived in Wisconsin all my life, but right now, Wisconsin's on the wrong track. Politicians in Madison are more interested in partisan agendas than solving problems and representing the people. I'm running because we deserve better."

Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) has held the 17th Senate District seat since 1991, but will face a primary challenge next year from Rep. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green).  Rep. Marklein already has a large fundraising lead on Sen. Schultz, who has not yet announced whether he will seek re-election.

Sen. Schultz has been criticized by some within the Republican Party for voting against the collective bargaining restrictions placed on state employees in 2011 and against a mining bill that passed earlier this year.

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