Primary Election Preview: Wisconsin State Assembly, 12th District
Longtime state Rep. Fred Kessler is squaring off against Democratic challenger and political newcomer Mario Hall in Tuesday's primary election.
Two Democrats are vying to advance to represent Wisconsin's 12th State Assembly District in Tuesday's primary election.
Incumbent Fred Kessler and challenger Mario Hall are competing for the Democratic nomination in the district, which includes a small portion of Wauwatosa. There are no Republicans running, so the primary winner likely will not face an opponent on Nov. 6.
Kessler, who was a state representative from 1960 to 1972, and was elected again in 2004, said his main emphasis in this campaign is on union and collective bargaining rights, which he advocated while fighting against Act 10 last year.
Kessler also said his experience as a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge gives him an advantage over Hall and that brings a unique understanding of the judicial system to the assembly.
Kessler also expressed his confidence in the public school system, striking contrast with his opponent. Hall has advocated school choice or voucher programs, which has led his critics to call him a conservative.
"I'm a Democrat in all senses of the word," Hall said, "but I do believe in educational options, and I do believe that families should have a choice."
Hall said he has also emphasized housing, employment and other quality of life issues in his campaign against Kessler, who has a longstanding presence in the district.
Despite that presence, Hall said many people in certain neighborhoods of the district do not know who Kessler is, and Hall hopes to get more people involved in the voting process.
Kessler has also questioned Hall's Democratic credentials, claiming that Hall did not sign a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker. Hall said he did sign the petition, however, his name could not be found in a search of the Verify the Recall database.
Patch asked each candidate to complete a biographical questionnaire for voters.
Mario Hall (D) - HAS NOT YET RESPONDED