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Voter ID separates candidates in Wisconsin Senate District 28

Oct. 9, 2012

Incumbent Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) and political newcomer Jim Ward of Greendale disagree about implementing a voter ID law as they battle for the Senate District 28 seat.

We posed several questions to the candidates. They were asked to keep their answers to 50 words.

Q What's your highest priority: the economy, jobs, health care, taxes or something else (state what that might be). How would you address this?

Ward: The priority that I will be focusing on is trying to create jobs. We need job-education retraining, so that laidoff workers can learn the skills that make them employable in a global economy. I'd strengthen the Buy Wisconsin program so that our tax dollars retain and create jobs here.

Lazich: The highest priority is jobs and the economy. Without jobs and stable employment, Wisconsin residents, families and our country are at a standstill. The Wisconsin Legislature must provide stable predictability for people willing to create jobs and/or expand their existing job base.

Additional priorities are mining, the state budget, voter ID and health care.

Q What's your stance on Act 10?

Ward: I support the added contributions that public employees made to their health care and pension in Act 10. Exempting certain unions was nothing but political pandering to the unions that supported the governor, and this hurt the taxpayer. I support the right to collectively bargain. Wisconsin has a proud labor history.

Lazich: Act 10 is the reason we were able to turn a $3.6 billion state budget deficit into a projected budget surplus. Act 10 provides superintendents and school boards with flexibility to provide education. Public employee union contracts were suffocating their ability to do their work.

Q Beyond initiatives already in place, what can the state do to attract businesses?

Ward: Wisconsin needs to invest in education to help attract businesses here. We have Madison, Marquette, the Medical College and other excellent colleges and technical schools here. Higher education not only trains our future workforce but they help lead in research, design, and this in return promotes innovation.

Lazich: The Wisconsin Legislature must provide stable predictability for people willing to create jobs and/or expand their existing job base. Taxes and regulations must encourage growth. Taxes and regulation must encourage job creation.

Q Should the state implement a voter ID law?

Ward: The state does not need to implement a voter ID law. Only seven people were convicted of election fraud in 2004, and only 20 were charged in 2008. Election fraud in Wisconsin's past two presidential elections revealed that election fraud occurs at a rate of less than one-thousandths of a percent.

Lazich: Yes, the state should implement a voter ID law. Voter ID is a best practice that ensures each person votes once and only once.

Jim Ward

Address: 5225 Morley Drive, Greendale

Family: Married

Occupation: Teacher for 13 years. Currently teach high school history and government.t

Previously held offices: None

Education: Degrees in history and education, Marquette University

Mary Lazich (inc.)

Address: 4405 S. 129th St., New Berlin

Family: Married, three children

Previously held offices: Wisconsin State Senate, Wisconsin State Assembly, Waukesha County Board, New Berlin City Council

Education: Bachelor's degree, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, summa cum laude

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