Stiff competition, heated attacks in open 85th Assembly race - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Stiff competition, heated attacks in open 85th Assembly race

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Wisconsin's 85th Assembly seat is open, and that's created some stiff competition.

Republican Pat Snyder and Democrat Mandy Wright are both trying to claim the seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Donna Seidel.

"I'm here to make sure that we can do everything we can to make this area one of the most prosperous areas," said Snyder.

"I know that we can do things working together. I know that we need to stay focused on creating good, family supporting jobs," said Wright.

Both candidates have never run for office before. Wright is a school teacher in Wausau. Snyder recently worked as a radio talk show host.

It's been a pretty quiet race until recently. Now, ads are running on television and coming in the mail.

Many ads are targeting Pat Snyder. A series of mailers was sent out from a third party political group, We Are Wisconsin Political Fund. The group's mailers call Snyder a bully as a radio talk show host and dangerous because he drove drunk back in 2003.

Snyder doesn't back away from what happened.

"I'm an alcoholic," said Snyder. "I've talked about it on the radio. I've been a role model in the community."

But he says the other attacks are unfair and show Democrats are desperate.

"Their issues, their goals aren't being, I guess, warmed to by the taxpayers and the voters," said Snyder.

Wright says the name-calling doesn't come from her. But she has one message about her opponent.

"Many of the things he's been saying over the past 12 years have been very divisive," said Wright.

But both candidates say they don't want to focus on the negativity. They plan to spend their time knocking on doors and talking to voters before Election Day on Tuesday.

The 85th Assembly seat covers Wausau and some other surrounding areas. While the makeup of the district has changed every few years, the region has been usually represented by a Democrat since 1962. That is, except for one short period in the early 1980s when part of Wausau was represented by a Republican.

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