A few brief thoughts from the 20th Assembly district’s Republican candidate forum

Earlier tonight the south branch of the Republican Party of Milwaukee County (which according to Chairman Michael S. Murphy has just two dues-paying members) held a candidate forum for the three Republicans (Mike Pierce, Molly McGartland, and Justin Moralez) vying to unseat incumbent Democratic State Rep. Christine Sinicki in the 20th Assembly district.

While I’ll have a more extensive recap of the candidate forum tomorrow, I wanted to share some initial thoughts.

  • Of the three candidates, Molly McGartland threw the most red meat to the conservatives in the (small) crowd, decrying political correctness while noting that she supports a woman’s right to choose….whether or not to have sex.
  • Something I noticed – and I wasn’t alone – was that Mike Pierce continually used the statement, “what we have representing our district right now…” instead of saying “who we have…” Perhaps it’s just a tic, but it struck me as odd.
  • Another answer that struck me was McGartland’s answer when asked what professional experience prepared her to serve in Madison. McGartland cited her ownership of a tavern in Cudahy,saying that it allowed her to listen to people talk about their problems. While the ability to listen is certainly a good thing, McGartland made no mention of how owning a business taught her about making payroll, running a business, etc., all of which are talking points Republican candidates seem so fond of using to their advantage.
  • While I’m obviously not a Republican/conservative, I did come away from the candidate forum with newfound respect for Cudahy Alderman Justin Moralez. When asked to share his views on same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ community, Moralez made it clear he supported same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ community. To be sure, that’s an answer that likely didn’t win him much support with the crowd in attendance, but he absolutely deserves credit for being honest instead of telling the crowd what they wanted to hear. What’s more, Moralez was equally as honest when asked if he’d pledge not to raise taxes. Moralez rightly noted that the state faces a shortfall in the transportation fund in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and that shortfall would need to be addressed somehow. If Moralez’s answer on same-sex marriage and support for LGBTQ families lost him half the room, his answer on taxes no doubt lost him the other half of the room.

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