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Updated: Candidates Emerge in 98th Assembly District Race

A half dozen people are showing interest in the special election that still has to be called by Gov. Scott Walker.

Editor's Note: This article was updated at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday with information about Jeanne Tarantino declaring her candidacy.

State Rep. Paul Farrow has not yet officially won the 33rd Senate District seat, although he is the only candidate on the Dec. 4 special election ballot, but nearly a half dozen people have expressed an interest in replacing him.

Jeanne Tarantino, a Waukesha Republican, became the latest candidate for the job, throwing her hat into the ring early this week while Steve Edlund, who was once considering a run, has announced he will not seek the office.

Republican Todd Greenwald, a Pewaukee resident, announced that he also running for the 98th District seat that includes Sussex, Pewaukee and portions of Waukesha (see map).

Adam Neylon, a local business owner and aide to State Rep. Bill Kramer, has also declare candidacy as a Republican in the 98th Assembly District.

Also running as a Republican is Matt Morzy. Eric Prudent, who lost earlier this month against Farrow for the 98th District seat, will be running as a Democrat. Contemplating runs on as a Republican are Jeanne Tarantino, Waukesha School Board member Steve Edlund and Pewaukee Police Chief Ed Baumann.

Farrow is moving to the State Senate – pending any write-in candidates in the special election Dec. 4 for the uncontested 33rd Senate District race – and his Assembly district seat will be vacant. Farrow won re-election to the 98th District seat on the same day he won the Senate primary.

The 33rd Senate District seat was vacated earlier this year by former Sen. Rich Zipperer. Zipperer was appointed as the deputy chief of staff and senior counsel for Gov. Scott Walker in July.

Walker has not yet called for a special election to fill the 98th Assembly District seat and will likely wait until Farrow wins the Dec. 4 election.

Running for Sure

Describing herself as a “Mom on a mission to make Wisconsin the best place to raise a family and start a business,” Tarantino served as Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch’s Chief of Staff for two years before helping the Walker administration’s efforts to increase employment by closing the skills gap, she said in a state.

“I will take the values I learned working in my family’s store and in building a business here in Waukesha to my work on your behalf in Madison,“ said Tarantino. “I know you can’t spend more than you bring in and that you should always give your customers a great value.”

Greenwald said in a statement that he looks forward to helping the conversavtive cause in Madison.

"Todd believes the conservative approach that has already been started in Madison by the existing Republican leadership is the correct way to lead Wisconsin forward, and as a representative he will work to grow that success," he said.

Greenwald is a project manager with experience in the architecture and construction fields. He is past president of the Lake Park Home Owners Association and volunteers as a soccer coach.

“I really believe in what the Governor and the Republican Party are doing for the state of Wisconsin, and I want to help,” said Greenwald.  “I think the people of the district believe it too, and they want a representative that wants to keep it moving in the right direction.”

Neylon, who also worked for U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, said in a news release he is looking to “lower taxes, improve schools, create jobs and make the government more efficient.”

Neylon served as the Waukesha County field director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin during the 2010 election, according to his release. He has been a member of the Republican Party of Waukesha County for the past six years, and previously served on the executive board. 

“I promise to always put taxpayers first, and stand for responsible budgets, and common sense government,” Neylon said in the release. “These principles have guided me all my life, and I will continue to be guided by that conservative compass in the state Assembly. Together, we can make Wisconsin the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family.”

Morzy announced he was running two days after the Nov. 6 election. He told Patch then that he is motivated by what Walker and the other Republicans are doing in the state, which is why he decided to seek election.

“I want to make sure I can do what I can to contribute to that to make sure that we keep that process going and keep improving the state of Wisconsin,” Morzy said.

Prudent lost to Farrow in the 98th District on Nov. 6, but he’s approaching the new race as a different election with a different opponent.

“I already have established somewhat of a base and connections with people,” Prudent said. “Moving forward, that is something I want to build off of.”

Prudent said he grew up with political parents, which motivated his interest in politics. But what really pushed him to run for public office was seeing the public union workers rallying and protesting in Madison after Walker first proposed the bill that put strict limitations on collective bargaining for public workers.

“I was there, days and nights, with these people,” Prudent said. “You can’t help but be inspired by that – people standing up for these rights. … That is a big reason why I ran – to give them a voice.”

Still Testing the Waters

Baumann has been a police officer for about 38 years, but he is retiring early next year from the Pewaukee Police Department. While he has had to deal with politics during his career, he said: “By no means am I a politician.”

“I am a problem solver,” Baumann said. “I want to be able to do that.”

Baumann, who expects to finalize his decision to run in the next week or two after consulting with family, said he wants to help make the 98th Assembly District a better place. Friends and others have been encouraging him to run for the office.

“I’d get to do what I am doing for 30 years – helping people,” Baumann said. “That will be my focus.”

wivalleygirl November 27, 2012 at 04:12 AM
The only political difference between Waukesha and Sheboygan is that several of our great state's current leadership has deep roots embedded there in Waukesha instead of here in beautiful suburban Sheboygan. But they would be re-miss to overlook Jeanne Tarantino as an upcoming solid can-do candidate for the 98th District who's already been walking the walk while the others merely talk the talk of empty promises and last year's issues. Jeanne can think and act clearly while leading the way on current issues that effect the not only the local citizens but the state as well. What really separates her from the other candidates is her 'kitchen table common sense' of Conservative values and principles along with her wealth of experience. She is an asset to the people of Waukesha and a great credit to our state. I woud urge you to support and assist Jeanne Tarantino for State Assembly.
Yolanda Medina November 27, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I think we need a women in this seat and if she chooses to run, I will assist her in every way I can.
Jackie Goldbaum November 28, 2012 at 10:54 PM
JG I am not sure I have the capacity to fully encapsulate all that a woman like Jeanne Tarantino could offer the state Assembly and the 98th districts constituents. I have know this woman a very long time and have encountered few people with the degree of integrity and compassion that Jeanne brings to the table. There is no pretense of "ego" in terms of this woman, and has only the best interest of the people of Waukesha guiding her. Jeanne has heart, compassion, and a non-ending drive to do what is right for those around her! This would easily be expanded to the people of Waukesha as a whole. I support Jeanne in this race and would feel great honor in doing so.
Mark D Stevenson November 29, 2012 at 11:55 PM
It's plainly obvious that Jeanne Tarantino and/or her surrogates are aware of this web article and are trying to drum up support for her candidacy by drowning out other commentaries. Regardless, if she IS the best candidate, I know some people in the 98th I will encourage to support her, however, being a STAFFER of a solid/exemplary Lt. Governor makes no rational case for the STAFFER themselves being the best person for a legislative seat. The press releases' outdated platitudes speak volumes to me that as of now, she's not my top two preferred to see win this seat at the moment. When I see specific things shes done other than be a staffer and merely living within the district I'll take it to consideration. I am wary of people who run for office on the basis of government officials they worked for. As of now she's the #3 candidate in my book. As the ever so eloquent Charles Barkley once said, "I may be wrong, but I doubt it."
Steve ® November 30, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Why would anyone listen to Jeff? He was caught defending lies and propaganda. http://menomoneefalls.patch.com/articles/rep-don-pridmore-may-enter-race-for-state-superintendent

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