Regardless the outcome of this fall’s election, the Wisconsin state Senate will look quite different as seven of the state’s 33 senators have either recently stepped down or announced they will not seek re-election. Among three August 11 primary races in west-central Wisconsin is the 10th Senate District contest, where Rep. Rob Stafsholt, R-New Richmond is facing off against Cherie Link, a Republican from Somerset.

Stafsholt is giving up the 29th Assembly District position he has had since 2017 to seek the Senate position.

The winner of the Republican primary for the 10th District will face Sen. Patty Schachtner, D-Somerset, who was elected in a January 2018 special election to succeed longtime Republican Sheila Harsdorf after she was appointed as secretary of the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection by former Gov. Scott Walker.

The Amery Free Press reached out to both candidates in the upcoming State Senate District 10 race.

What are the top three issues facing

Northwest Wisconsin voters?

Cherie Link: Bringing our economy back from the effects of the Wuhan Coronavirus, while protecting seniors and other vulnerable persons.

Protecting Wisconsin taxpayers from tax increases of any kind in a time when so many workers have lost jobs, so many small businesses and farms have closed or are struggling to stay afloat. As a Republican, I of course believe in smaller government, but in an unprecedented time as this it is absolutely crucial that state government cinch the belt, working harder and smarter to serve our people.

Fighting for Northwest Wisconsin's fair share of the dollars that do get spent from the state. Programs like school aid, road construction and local road aid, property tax relief and various other community services.

We can be forgotten up here and it takes a fighter to compete with Milwaukee and Madison. Patty Schachtner has been voting with her liberal, Democrat members on spending those dollars, and it has to change.

Rob Stafsholt: Keeping Wisconsin Safe and Working - I've been fighting to reopen Wisconsin’s economy safely, getting people back to work and getting government out of the way — while first making sure we protect seniors and the most vulnerable.

Controlling Taxes and Spending - We must consistently work to control government spending and lower taxes, I will stand up against the liberal Democrats who are working to increase our taxes and send that money to Milwaukee and Madison.

Supporting Our Local Farmers - As a 4th generation farmer myself, I have seen firsthand, and understand, the hard work put in and the needs of our farming communities. I will continue to fight for family farms, our agricultural heritage, and the impact they provide to our local economy.

What can the Wisconsin Legislature do to help businesses with challenges faced during the coronavirus pandemic?

Cherie Link: As a small business owner and job creator I know first-hand how important re-opening our economy is. First, Government should do no harm, which includes not imposing new taxes nor onerous regulations. Government can help in that they can be a trusted source of information. We need a solid resource of information on the health impacts to businesses and health care facilities. Government could provide shared purchasing power for PPE.

I put forth my Control Bureaucrats Pandemic plan on my Facebook page, Link For Senate, outlining the steps we need to take to take to ensure that one person does not have the ability to shut down our economy.

Rob Stafsholt: Government should never impose policies that restrict the ability of its citizens to succeed, and we must have a reasonable approach that allows us to function while providing care for the elderly and most vulnerable. As a sitting lawmaker, my main job is to listen to concerns, and to direct my constituents and business owners to the resources that are available to them. That's what I've done throughout my time in the State Assembly, and it's what I'll continue to do.

What are the major differences

between you and your opponent?

Cherie Link: My decades of community service, my connections to my neighbors and my commitment to my conservative principals have given me the foundation to be an effective leader in the State Senate. I believe I am the strongest candidate to win this seat in November, my outsider community leadership matches up very favorably against an incumbent who has forgotten who she is representing. I can appeal to the farmer in Polk County, the commuter in Hudson, the small business owner in Grantsburg, and the college student in Menomonie equally; and I am driven and will work tirelessly to take back this seat.

Rob Stafsholt: Throughout my elections the past four years I have always chosen to not talk negatively about my opponents, I just highlight my accomplishments and express my goals if elected. I do believe that experience matters. My private sector experience, both running small businesses and working on my family farm, provides the skills needed to effectively address the issues facing our region. And my proven conservative voting in the State Legislature has demonstrated that I have the record to back up my words. Combined, those have made me an effective member of the Assembly, and they'll help conservatives win back the 10th Senate District in November.

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