Vruwink set to defend position in State Assembly District 33

MILTON — As he did in his first campaign interview this year with Adams Publishing Group, Wisconsin State Assembly District 33 incumbent Rep. Don Vruwink, D-Milton, maintained his belief in compromise in politics in addressing a recent set of questions as the Nov. 8 general election approaches.

Vruwink is facing challenge in the general election from Republican Scott Johnson of Fort Atkinson.

The 33rd Assembly District now includes Fort Atkinson, Jefferson and areas to the west, as well as Palmyra and Eagle to the east, among other towns and villages.

With the recent redesign of the 33rd Assembly District, Mukwonago is outside of its boundaries and incumbent Republican Cody Horlacher, who lives there, no longer will be representing it.

Vruwink, 70, is a retired history and government teacher of 44 years, who, before being elected to the State Assembly in 2016, taught history at Milton High School. He also coached basketball, football and softball and has served on the Milton City Council and Milton School Board.

Among Vruwink’s top issues in his campaign have been making sure there is better support for teachers, continued implementation of state broadband, and getting help for smaller communities so they can survive and, perhaps, thrive.

Vruwink was elected to the State Assembly in 2016, 2018 and 2020. He currently serves on the education, agriculture, tourism and rural development committees. He served on the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0, as well as a committee studying the investment and use of school trust funds.

Vruwink is married to Beth Vruwink, who retired as an elementary school library aide. Their son Craig graduated from the La Follette School of Public Affairs at UW-Madison.

He is a member of the Dairy Business Association, Greater Whitewater Committee, Milton Area Chamber of Commerce and Edgerton Chamber of Commerce.

Vruwink said that there are things in his personality and background that have made him want to become a governmental leader — even at the current time of partisanism and social unrest.

“During my more-than-four decades as a teacher and coach, I had to learn the ability to encourage people to work together for a common goal, despite their differences,” he said. “Unfortunately, this skill seems to be rare in politics these days. We all want to make things better for Wisconsin. Some of us just have different ideas on how to make it happen. I have earned respect on both sides of the aisle because I focus on the issues that are important to my constituents, and I am able to hear all voices and help find solutions that both sides can agree upon.”

Vruwink said he co-sponsored several bills during his time in the legislature that demonstrate his ability to cross over party lines when it benefits the people of his district.

“I have a lot of friends who own small businesses in the community, so I look for solutions that minimize tax increases,” he said. “In 2021, I received the Wisconsin Property Taxpayers Champion Award in recognition of my dedication to being a steward of taxpayer dollars. My experience working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle will allow me to best represent the people of the 43rd Assembly District, which I currently represent. I listen to my constituents and take their concerns back to the legislature. I am an independent thinker who doesn’t always follow the party line.”

Vruwink said there have, so far, been no proposals introduced in the legislature to defund the police, and if there were, he would oppose them.

“I oppose decreasing funding to anything surrounding public safety,” he said. “Since 2014, the funding for cities has been controlled by the majority party in the assembly. Instead of increasing their budgets, the Republican majority has kept funding to municipalities at a standstill. As a result, municipalities have to make cuts due to lack of funding. If we want safer communities, we need to provide our communities with more funding, so they have the resources needed to keep our communities safe.”

Vruwink said he has 15 former students who are now police officers and would not want to see anything happen to them because the legislature didn’t vote to raise funds to support public safety.

“It’s pretty easy to say, ‘We support the police,’ but I would like my colleagues to prove that by increasing funding for the police and public safety.”

Vruwink is a self-described “history teacher from a family of hunters,” and said he believes in the Second Amendment and the Right to Bear Arms.

“However, I also believe in common sense gun laws,” he said, adding he supports the law as established in Roe v. Wade. “Abortion should be rare, but there are times when circumstances are so dire that the doctor may give the family guidance on options such as in cases of rape, incest, and severe medical complications. I also support access to affordable birth control to avoid unplanned pregnancies.”

CITED:

Sharp, Steve. “Vruwink Set to Defend Position in State Assembly District 33.Daily Jefferson County Union, Daily Jefferson County Union, 26 Oct. 2022, https://www.dailyunion.com/vruwink-set-to-defend-position-in-state-assembly-district-33/article_7e0071ec-554d-11ed-abe0-8b33fea72294.html.

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