Incumbent looks to maintain Assembly seat
Kathy Bernier (R)
Citing being a grandmother as the most important job she has had in her life, Bernier said she believes she has made a difference in state government during her time as the 68th Assembly District representative. In her platform, “Doing the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do,” she has acknowledged challenges ahead regarding the budget and paying off the state budget.
Cooke: Is there any particular issue you find most important?
Bernier: “Obviously jobs and the economy were, and still are, important. We’ve come up 100,000 jobs that’s true, but we still have 75,000 jobs available right now that we don’t have people trained, or are not applying, for. I was proud to champion the bill Wisconsin Fast Forward to help employers train and educate current employees who need to beef up their skills. We also help through the technical colleges and other education facilities to help train people right out of high school. GFS right in Osseo is looking at that option right now. They’re growing, they’ve doubled in size, so that’s why that bill, for me, was very important. That’s the no. 1 mission right now, is to continue that. Looking forward, that same bill allows us to track and monitor what jobs are available and let our students know where the jobs are.
Number two priority is constituent services. It is very important to stay close to my constituents in the 68th. What our job is as a representative is to get a hold of that agency, get a hold of that liaison, saying ‘move this forward, get it done.’ I do a lot of hands on with my constituents and that is my number two priority.”
C: What do you think people find appealing about you?
“I’m pretty much an average, everyday individual. I can relate to a lot of individuals. I grew up not affluent, poor at times, so we didn’t have a lot of money. I can relate to the average, everyday person in life who is scraping to get by.”
C: What sets you apart from your opponents?
B: “Life’s experiences have taught me a lot; just coming from where I was to where I am now, with little or no help from anyone, I worked my way up to do what I do now on my own with self-determination. I think my experiences in local government. I served on the village board, I understand our challenges with a transportation need. I have a good insight and understanding of how government works, and I think that sets me apart.”
C: What makes you think that people within smaller areas will vote for you again?
B: “I think small town folks appreciate individual freedom, individual liberty, that they’re hard workers; I can relate with that. In the farming community, I recognize that agriculture is the backbone of Wisconsin economy, which is why I think the Farm Bureau has endorsed me. I do have a farm background through my marriage and I understand the community very well.”
In September 2013, Cooke was hired as the editor of both the Augusta Area Times and the Tri-County News. She can be reached via email@example.com or (715) 597-3313. Follow us on Twitter or check out our Facebook page for more updates!