Notice how campaign lawn signs magically cluster?
Seems if you like Biden, you also support Zimdars, King and Anderson.
And if you’re a Trump fan, you prefer Dallman, Ballweg and Grothman.
No split tickets as we sit comfortably in our silos, supporting only members of our own team. Some call this ideological purity. We view it as tribalism.
A lack of consideration of the other may represent thinking that is shallow, intellectually vacuous or worse, non-existent.
Policies matter, but so do character and integrity. Our endorsements below ignore the Ripon sign begging us to “VOTE DEMOCRATIC” and the front-lawn homages to all people with R’s after their last names.
With voting already underway, the Commonwealth offers endorsements for three races on ballots that Ripon-area residents will be completing in the weeks ahead, if they haven’t already. Yes, we’ve split our ticket. No apologies.
Because the election is a month away, we welcome your letters telling us why we’re wrong — or right.
But more important, we encourage you to give the “other” candidate a second look. Read about his or her positions on issues, yes, but then compare resumes, asking yourself whether a candidate will work for comity and cooperation, or play political gotcha, the public interest be damned.
For Congress: Jessica King
Sixth District voters who have enjoyed the past leadership of Republicans Tom Petri and, even more, Bill Steiger, deserve better than the current fellow who sullies the seat. Rep. Glenn Grothman is an embarrassment. He had fewer co-sponsors of his bills than any other member of the state’s congressional delegation (source: Wisconsin Examiner). He tied for last with Republican freshman Rep. Bryan Steil on a list of influential co-sponsors of his bills and was second to last for bills with bipartisan sponsorship and bills introduced. He holds no leadership positions and none of his bills last year became law or even emerged from committee. Sorry Ripon College, Grothman disdains higher education except for tech schools and believes that without President Trump’s wall America will cease to be America. It’s time for “Coughing Glenn” to return to his mailing address in Glenbeulah, even though he still owns a condo in his former West Bend state senate district. King’s primary qualification: She’s not an embarrassment. Yes, the bar has been set that low.
For State Senate:
Like outgoing incumbent state Sen. Luther Olsen, Ballweg is in tune with her district’s conservatism while not shying away from forums, for example at Ripon College, where more liberal views are in vogue. She is thoughtful, articulate and accessible. Ballweg recently had an impromptu email dialogue with Ripon residents concerning the state’s pathetic response to the COVID crisis. She was respectful and responsive. Ballweg’s credentials are impeccable: business owner, civic leader, teacher. Her legislative career has been equally impressive; she has authored and passed bills related to farming, small business, consumer protection, child and health care, while serving if not chairing task forces and committees including the Joint Committee on Review of Administrative Rules. We hope she follows the example of Olsen, whose conscience and independence caused some in his own party to label him a RINO (Republican in name only). Ballweg mustn’t forget that she represents her district, not the GOP caucus.
For State Representative: Nate Zimdars
While it’s no secret Commonwealth editorials historically have favored Republicans, these are not typical times and so Republicans pushing red-meat issues to troll for votes won’t earn our nod. Alex Dallman is pandering. He champions Second Amendment and pro-life positions, while doing little to explain how they are state Assembly issues. On his website he touts farms, tourism and education — who doesn’t? Nathan Zimdars walks the walk, having come from a Ripon family steeped in agriculture; he’s milked cows and works a graveyard shift in a cheese-processing plant. Unlike Dallman, who works for Grothman in constituent services, Zimdars believes in a fair redistricting process, opposes public dollars for private school vouchers and views COVID as a public health concern rather than an excuse to alarm the public that Big Brother is usurping its freedom.
— Tim Lyke