Primary elections are quickly approaching in Waukesha County, and with them come several candidate forums and resources to help voters learn about the candidates and their positions for two of the contested races.
Separate forums in Waukesha for the crowded 97th District Assembly race and for the Waukesha County sheriff's race are still ahead.
In addition, the Waukesha County Business Alliance hosted a forum last week for the six Republican candidates in the state race.
"It's absolutely critical that voters be engaged in the process, especially in these important primary elections, which often see low voter turnout," said Suzanne Kelley, president of the WCBA. "Our elected officials are working on behalf of their constituents and it's important that voters educate themselves about the candidates, and then show up Aug. 12 to cast a vote.
"The Alliance is committed to doing our part to provide forums for the business community to meet candidates, given the huge impact elected officials have on the local business community."
The WCBA has also invited all candidates for the 97th Assembly District to complete a questionnaire with their positions on important issues. Answers from that questionnaire will be available on Wednesday, July 23, at www.waukesha.org.
The GOP Women of Waukesha County, in collaboration with the Republican Party of Waukesha County, will host a candidate forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at the Citizens Bank of Mukwonago, 2109 Corporate Drive, Waukesha.
Also for the District 97 seat, the Waukesha County Drug Free Communities Coalition and the Addiction Resource Council, in collaboration with Tobacco Free Community Partnership Dodge Jefferson Waukesha, is hosting a forum from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday, July 31, at the Marcus Majestic Cinema, 770 N. Springdale Road.
The topics for the forum will cover tobacco, alcohol, heroin and marijuana use. To register for the free forum see bit.ly/district97.
Another forum will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, in the community room of the Waukesha Public Library, 321 Wisconsin Ave. Each candidate will respond to a set of prepared questions. There will be time after the program for attendees to meet and talk with the candidates. The forum is sponsored by the Waukesha County Federated Library System.
The Republican candidates in the 97th Assembly District primary, to be held on Tuesday, Aug. 12, are real estate sales director Scott Allen, former town of Waukesha supervisor Joe Banske, city of Waukesha Alderwoman and Waukesha County Board Supervisor Kathleen Cummings, city of Waukesha Alderman Aaron Perry, Humana consultant Brandon Rosner and GOP activist Vince Trovato.
No Democrats are running for the position and the one Libertarian candidate did not file the necessary paperwork with the state to appear on the ballot.
The winner will replace Rep. Bill Kramer, R-Waukesha, who is not seeking re-election amid sexual assault charges in Waukesha County.
The 97th Assembly District includes the southern half of the city of Waukesha, the southwestern portion of the town of Waukesha, the southeastern portion of the town of Genesee and the northeastern portion of the town of Mukwonago. All of the candidates are city or town of Waukesha residents.
Waukesha NOW will have a preview of the election with the candidates' biographies in next week's issue.
Waukesha County sheriff
The WCBA will also host candidates on the primary ballot for Waukesha County sheriff at its monthly "One-on-One with Your Public Official" program on Friday, July 25. The program is from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Waukesha County Business Alliance Office, 2717 N. Grandview Blvd., Suite 300, Waukesha.
Sheriff candidates Eric Severson and Tom Alioto will speak at the program, which includes a question-and-answer for attendees.
The program is free to attend. Pre-registration is available online, but not required. Information is available at www.waukesha.org.
The winner will replace Waukesha County Sheriff Dan Trawicki, who is retiring at the end of the year.