Rep. Subeck looks to keep Assembly seat as political outsider challenges her in the primary

MADISON, Wis. — The race for the 78th Assembly District seat is another case of a political outsider challenging an incumbent, but this time, the winner next week will likely go on to take the seat.

Rep. Lisa Subeck has been in office since 2015, and she said she prides herself on working for the constituent and doing so across the aisle.

“We have seen the ways in which our state is struggling,” she said. “We need strong leaders in the legislature and leaders who know how to get things done.”

Subeck has passed bipartisan legislation on the foster care system, election administration and Holocaust education.

Her opponent, Rob Slamka, said he got into politics a roundabout way.

“I was a construction worker for a long time,” Slamka said. “And I had kind of an unfortunate situation that launched me in a direction that took me to the capitol and then ultimately brought me to the idea that I had to run so that I could represent.”

When it comes to working with Republicans, Slamka said he has political leverage on some leaders in office.

“I’m rock solid steady on the idea of being able to utilize that,” he said. “Maybe it’s, I don’t want to say it’s blackmail, but I know the information that I have is condemning and damning and with that I expect some cooperation when I get in.”

Both agree coronavirus will be the main focus in the next session.

“I don’t think anyone can say I think we’re going to take two weeks off of the coronavirus and maybe figure out, I mean are we going to deal with groundwater issues?” Slamka said. “Those are all going to be in the background. Right now it’s going to be getting this back on track and getting businesses going again.”

In the fallout from the virus, Subeck sees opportunity to tackle multiple issues.
“Budgets are about priorities,” she said. “The reality is the amount of money we invest in our criminal justice system, if we put good strong preventative measures in place we could have savings in that criminal justice system.”

The primary for this seat is set for Aug. 11.