Now an Independent

25-Bob Ziegelbauer
Image by wiadcc via Flickr

25th Assembly Representative Bob Ziegelbauer is running for re-election this year, however it won’t be as a Democrat. He announced yesterday that he is leaving the party and will be an Independent.

“This is a crucial time for Wisconsin. We badly need to change direction, to get our State back on the path to prosperity, to get people back to work!”

“The political party system at all levels is broken. Special interests and their money control the parties. I have always been a staunchly independent voice, working hard to do the right thing to represent the people of this community, but now the party machinery has made it clear that they want another “yes man”, someone who will blindly go along with every tax increase or expansion of their power without the backbone to stand up for the people. That won’t work for me.”

“As a result, I have decided to break away from this broken system, and offer myself as an “Independent” candidate, to best represent the people of this community. I’ve always worked very hard to represent all of us. This will allow me to do that even better, and I would greatly appreciate your continued support.” (Source: Ziegelbauer campaign)

Ziegelbauer in explaining his decision pointed out how he feels the Dem party has changed.

“I grew up as a John and Robert Kennedy Democrat … they were pro-life and pro-growth and cared about people.”

He also has no concerns with getting things done as an Independent if re-elected.

He said he would have no problem “linking with people who have ideas I can support … on an issue-by-issue basis, much like the people expect the system to work.”

Reaction to Bob’s announcement wasn’t surprising.

From Dem candidate Kerry Trask:

“The relationship between Bob and the Democratic Party as an organization has been unorthodox … Bob votes more frequently with the Republicans.”

From Assemblyman Mark Pocan:

“Bob’s always been kind of marched to his own drummer,” Pocan said. “We know (Trask) has a lot of support from Democrats in that area so I can’t say I’m surprised (by Ziegelbauer’s move.)”

Pocan said the Dem caucus has always had a “cordial” relationship with Ziegelbauer, despite his voting tendencies. He said Ziegelbauer’s pro-corporate record may be a liability for the incumbent this election year.

“When it came to some of the corporate issues, some of the tax fairness issues, Bob’s certainly more aligned to the Republican Party than the Democratic Party.”

From GOP chair Reince Priebus:

“Frankly, with all the runaway government spending and special-interest favors the Democrats have forced through in the last two years, I’m surprised more Democrat legislators aren’t jumping ship.”

Should make for an interesting race in the 25th Assembly District this fall.

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