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Former Assembly speaker throws hat into District 15 Senate race

Sheridan, Ringhand, 24-year-old Janesville native will face off in August primary

Former Assembly speaker throws hat into District 15 Senate race

JANESVILLE, Wis. - Former Assembly speaker Mike Sheridan is looking to get back into politics. He officially announced Sunday that he will be running for state Senate.

Sheridan lost the election for his Assembly seat in 2010, after he disclosed he was dating a lobbyist for the payday loan industry. Four years later, he said he hopes the voters will believe in his mission.

"I've made some mistakes in my personal life, but I would never have let that interfere with the job that I did in Madison," Sheridan said.

Sheridan said his focus is to bring jobs back to Rock County, including General Motors.

"We've got about one more year before the national contract; this plant is in stand-by status. There is still a chance we can get this plant back, and I want to be a part of the process," Sheridan said.

Sheridan is pushing for potential expansion and upgrades to the Rock County Airport to bring in additional jobs.

Rep. Janis Ringhand, D-Evansville, also running for the 15th Senate District, said she is concerned about job growth in the area but feels the public needs someone they can trust.

"I feel very strongly that people need to trust their senator and feel comfortable with the job that they are doing and the performance that they have, back in 2010 the voters decided," Ringhand said.

Ringhand is not confident that General Motors will return to Wisconsin, but believes that job growth starts with expanding education opportunities.

"The chambers, the economic development groups, the county, private businesses are pulling together to get people the training they need, so that they can have more skilled jobs that are family sustaining," Ringhand said.

Austin Scieszinski, a 24-year old Janesville native, also announced this April that he will be running on the democratic ticket for the Senate seat.

While he would like to see GM come back to the area, he said he will be focusing on small business growth, which he hopes will bring immediate jobs to the community.

The three will face each other in the primary on August 12.

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