Waukesha's District 97 state assembly seat has more candidates

Published on: 4/21/2014

The candidates for the District 97 state assembly race continue to come in.

And not surprisingly, in the Republican-heavy district, the GOP so far has the most candidates for the seat held by Rep. Bill Kramer, R-Waukesha, who is not seeking re-election amid sexual assault charges.

Waukesha city alderman Aaron Perry, former Waukesha town supervisor Joe Banske and Republican Party activist Brandon Rosner of Waukesha have entered the race. A Republican primary will take place Aug. 12.

Whether they'll have a Democratic challenger in the Nov. 4 general election has yet to be determined. Regardless, a candidate from either party will face a Libertarian candidate.

Here's a profile of the latest candidates. (Perry was profiled in the April 3 issue.)

Banske's experience

Banske has spent the last four years as a town supervisor before being voted out earlier this month, losing his town seat to Jim Radke by 73 votes.

The defeat didn't deter Banske from running for this position, he said. He heard that some residents who didn't vote for him in the town election would give him their vote in this election.

"It's a very different election," said Banske, adding he feels misinformation was used against him in the most recent town race. "And even with that, I still almost won."

Banske, a mortgage banker/branch partner for Cherry Creek Mortgage, became a town supervisor in 2010 during a recall election and said one of the biggest issues he was involved in was regarding whether or not the town would be in the city's future water service area.

Banske initially voted to keep the town out of the service area but then changed his vote because he said he helped get a condition put in place in the agreement that says the inclusion is only conditional if the city obtains a Great Lakes Diversion.

He said this shows he's willing to "roll up my sleeves and dig into the nitty-gritty details."

Banske said what makes him stand out is the fact that because the town has a small staff he has learned first-hand the inner-workings of budgets, the finite details of contracts and studying items such as the Great Lakes Compact and the West Waukesha Bypass.

"There's an experience factor that people can rely on with me," Banske said. "I have a set of principles and stick to those. I never came to a town meeting with limited or half the information, because I did what was necessary to make an informed choice."

Rosner's take

Rosner, 34, has been active in the Republican Party over the years.

He first interned with President George W. Bush's White House Commission on the Moment of Remembrance in summer 2001 and worked as a campaign manager for U.S. Congressional candidate John Gard during a national race in 2006. Rosner also served as the Wisconsin campaign manager for Mike Huckabee during his U.S. presidential campaign in 2008. He is a member of the Republican Party of Waukesha County.

Rosner calls himself "a true conservative" and that he was encouraged to run for the position by people within the Republican Party.

"I have long relationships and contacts with people throughout the district and state," Rosner said.

Rosner, who works full-time at Humana in Waukesha as a consultant on health-care reform, said he worked in Gov. Scott Walker's administration two years ago on the health care policy.

"We need a good team to help implement Walker's good ideas and I'd make a great team player," Rosner said.

Libertarian choice

As for the Libertarian option, Chuck Schilling, a 31-year-old self-employed contractor, filed a declaration of candidacy in March.

The Waukesha resident is a member of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin and expects to be the party's only candidate on the ballot for this race.

Schilling has never run for an elected position but said it's time for him "to stop sitting back."

He said his goals would be to have government be even more fiscally responsible and keep elected officials from infringing on people's freedoms and liberties.

"I'm running as a bit of an outsider," Schilling said. "But if people get to know me, I truly believe a lot of voters can relate to me (on fiscal issues) and with finding more civil liberties and equal rights for everyone."

The district covers a portion of the city of Waukesha, the town of Waukesha, Genesee and Mukwonago.

Editor's Note: Libertarian candidate Chuck Schilling did not file the necessary paperwork with the Government Accountability Board and will not appear on the ballot.