With the waterfalls of the Eau Claire Dells as a backdrop, Wausau School Board President Tricia Zunker announced her intentions to seek a much higher office in Washington, DC.
The Associate Justice of the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court will seek the 7th Congressional District seat vacated by Sean Duffy in late September.
Zunker says she’s been considering a run for the seat long before Duffy’s announcement back in August that he would be leaving Congress. “This has been in the works for a bit. I had intended down the road to run for this seat, it was something I had considered in great detail.”
She plans on running on the Democratic ticket but says her first job will be to represent the people, something she already does on the Wausau School Board. “It is always a good idea to remember your focus. We are here to serve the people.
“We all want to afford our health care, we all want to feed our families without breaking the bank, we want to make sure our farmers stay in business, and we want to make sure that our environment is protected,” adding those are all “people over party” issues.
Zunker adds that she supports finding a way to comingle private-sector health care with a public marketplace option as opposed to medicare-for-all. She declined to go in-depth on the recent impeachment inquiry into President Trump because she expects the matter will be cleared up before the special election is head but did say it is the job of Congress to uphold the constitution.
Zunker chose to hold Monday’s announcement in the park because of its significance to her family, saying entertainment funds were hard to come by so they took several day trips to the park. She also promised to support legislation to natural resources like those found in the park.
Members of Zunker’s family and Elders of the Ho-Chunk Nation were also in attendance during Monday’s event, some displaying the Tribal flag.
During both her opening remarks and a one-on-one interview after, she made it clear that she feels the direct leap from local to national politics is not too much for her. “I’m incredibly competent, I”m a hard worker, smart, fierce, I’m determined, and I’m ready. I can do it.”
Zunker became the second Democrat to announce their intention to run for the seat after Vietnam War Veteran Lawrence Dale announced his intentions, meaning both parties will now require a primary before the general election for the seat.
Dale, a Michigan resident, made his announcement outside the 7th district boundaries in Madison on Monday but reportedly promised he would move to Hurley “in the legal sense” soon.
It’s still unclear when the election for the seat will be held as state and federal officials attempt to find a spring 2020 date that will satisfy both regulations.