Voters will go to the polls Tuesday for the 2018 Wisconsin partisan primary election. Polls will be open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Voters must cast ballots in only one party’s primary election.
Two statewide primaries have garnered most of the public’s attention this summer – the Democratic primary for governor and the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. One other, regional race affects Kewaunee County: the Republican primary in the 1st state Senate District.
State Rep. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere, left, and Bill Nauta, commander of the American Legion post on Washington Island, are the GOP candidates. The winner Tuesday will challenge state Sen. Caleb Frostman, D-Sturgeon Bay, who defeated Jacque in a June special election to fill the remaining seven months in former Sen. Frank Lasee’s term. A full, four-year term is at stake in November.
Jacque and Nauta this week agreed to respond to a brief questionnaire requested by the Kewaunee County Comet.
Who are you (brief background) and why the state Senate – that is, why do you feel you can be effective as a senator?
Nauta: I grew up in a small town in central Wisconsin (Shawano county). I joined the Army when I was 20 and ultimately made it a career, retiring as an infantry officer at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. I’m known as a “mustang officer,” referring to those who rose through the ranks as both enlisted and officer. I completed my military career at the Pentagon in 1999. I will always be indebted to the military for the life experiences and challenges. Through the GI Bill I attained both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. I’ve served in various places, both stateside and overseas.
I am passionate about my love for my country! I have been a lifelong Packers fan, attending games at Lambeau Field since 1964. I have been a season ticket holder since 2001 and own a share of stock. However, I will no longer attend, watch or listen to another NFL game until something changes regarding the league policy on the National Anthem.
Jacque: I live in De Pere with my wife and our five children and have served the residents of southern Brown and northern Manitowoc counties in the State Assembly since 2011. I previously worked as a grant writer and communications director in both the public and private sectors.
I am proud to be a board member of the Wisconsin Council on Domestic Abuse, Golden House Domestic Violence Shelter Community Leadership Council, Wisconsin Small Business Environmental Council, Family and Childcare Resources of Northeast Wisconsin, and Green Bay Area Crime Stoppers.
I have been very active legislatively and can be even more effective in the State Senate. This past week I was named Legislator of the Year by the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, and have previously earned the Wisconsin Family Council Legislator of the Year Award, Relentless Badger for the Disabled Award, and many others.
2. Surveys indicate Kewaunee County residents’ top issue is clean water. What should be the state’s role in protecting and improving water quality, and specifically what are your thoughts about the revisions to NR 151?
Jacque: I have a strong record of leadership in promoting clean water and have supported legislation to help homeowners to replace contaminated wells and replace failing septic systems. I support the NR 151 revisions (and the collaborative process behind it) that will improve water quality in Door and Kewaunee Counties by reducing runoff in areas with shallow topsoil.
I was the Assembly author of the law that allows municipalities that have formed a joint local water authority to be eligible for funding for clean water improvements and to participate in the safe drinking water loan program, and co-authored a law which allows the DNR to consider the cumulative effect of runoff on the entire watershed in granting permits. I was a co-sponsor of the request adopted in the last state budget which requires and funds a Total Maximum Daily Load study of eastern Wisconsin watersheds to better assess sources of contamination.
Nauta: I am absolutely certain that water quality will be one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. In northeast Wisconsin, both population growth and concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) farms have significantly changed the quality of our wells. But there is promise. I believe that with new technology and a commitment to exploring new concepts like recently shown in Kewaunee county, we can tackle these problems. I urge both business and hardline environmentalists to work together on challenges. I totally believe that this is not just a ‘local’ issue but that the state needs to partner and share the financial responsibility of the water issue.
3. What other issue(s) do you hope to address while in the state Senate?
Nauta: If given the trust and responsibility to serve in the state Senate, I hope to be a champion of military veterans. I have pledged that I will donate one-half of my annual Senate salary of $50,950 to the 29 veteran organizations within the 1 st Senate district. These include: 17 American Legion posts, seven Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) posts, and three American Veterans (AmVets) posts.
Jacque: I hope to continue my efforts to improve worker training opportunities, protect and enhance crime victims’ rights, combat fraud and abuse within public programs, and break down barriers to economic development and redevelopment. I also would like to continue my efforts with law enforcement against human trafficking, domestic violence, drug abuse, and drunk driving.
I am proud to have received the Wisconsin Towns Association’s top award and the Wisconsin Counties Association’s Outstanding Legislator Award and am working on a number of initiatives with local government to reduce costs and control property taxes. I am working on several bills to assist our military veterans.