Election Day is Nov. 8. Elections are being held for different races across St. Croix and Pierce County. Residents in St. Croix County will be voting for state Assembly and Congressional races. Pierce County residents will be voting for state Assembly, Congress and state Senate.

In the 7th District Republican incumbent Tom Tiffany is running against Democrat Richard Ausman. In the 3rd District Democrat Brad Pfaff is running against Republican Derrick Van Orden. Candidate answers are listed below in alphabetical order.

District 7

Richard Ausman

Richard Ausman headshot.jpg

Richard Ausman. File photo.

Family: Married 38 years to my wife, Sara; daughters Sammy and Mandy, both are attending college

Education: UW-Madison, Bachelor of Business Administration

Occupation: Publisher

Prior political experience: None, first time running for public office

What values or morals would you bring to your position?

My dad died when I was 7and my values pretty much come from my mother and my small-town rural upbringing. To me, life is simple – always tell the truth and you will always know the answer to any question as to what you have said. Be kind. Be generous. Help your neighbors. Be respectful of others and their opinions, especially if you disagree with them. We don’t all grow up in the same situations, we all have different life experiences, and there is typically something we can learn about or from one another. Everyone is welcome at my table.

How will you use your position to improve the economic well-being of your constituents?

Health care is a right. I will work to provide Medicare/Medicaid-for-all. 58% of all American debt is medical debt. No-cost annual physicals and office visits will decrease the amount of money spent on treating diseases down the road. Social Security can be fixed immediately and easily with eliminating the cap on contributions. When a person makes $147,000 per year why do they stop contributing to the fund? It makes no sense. Social Security benefits were not taxed until 1984 when the wealthy were given tax breaks, this needs to be relooked at. My opponent wants to privatize Social Security.

What actions will you support on the abortion issue?

I support a woman’s choice as to what happens with her body and codifying a law like Roe vs. Wade into federal law. We were intentionally formed as a secular nation, with the right to worship when, where and how we please. We do not have the right to force our religious views on others. The government has no right intruding in the most personal decision a woman will ever make. Also one of the fundamental rights of a woman is to choose whose children she will bear. The wonderful thing is most babies are welcomed into this world.

What is your education agenda? (Student loan forgiveness, affordable post secondary education, new graduate employment)

I believe public education is an investment in our children and society. I support free community college and technical college tuition. I support educational loans with a 1% interest rate backed by the federal government. I believe education is the path out of poverty. Every person should have access to the education they need to start their own business or find a great job that will be fulfilling and allow them to take care of their family. I will not be a party to starving our public education system so elites can take that money to fund their private schools.

How will you support agriculture if elected? 

My parents both grew up on farms. I believe in supporting family farms and in supporting sustainable agriculture.  Food independence is critical to our national security. I will listen to the needs of family farmers and do my best to address them so our farmers and our agricultural economy will flourish. I will support innovative new ways to generate revenue like carbon credits and green energy production. My dad’s first cousin was LaVerne Ausman, former Wisconsin secretary of agriculture. I will continue with his commitment to supporting our farmers and helping to distribute their products around the world.

Tom Tiffany

Thomas Tiffany

Thomas Tiffany

Family: Wife, Chris; three daughters.

Education: B.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Occupation: Former damtender. Owner and operator of Wilderness Cruises.

Prior political experience: Currently representing 7th District, Town Supervisor of Little Rice from 2009 to 2013, Wisconsin State Assembly, representing District 35 from 2011 to 2013, Wisconsin State Senate, representing District 12 from 2013 to 2020.

What values or morals would you bring to your position?

Growing up on my family’s dairy farm in western Wisconsin taught me the value of hard work. I take the lessons on the farm and apply them to all things that I do, most importantly, is working for the people of Wisconsin. I believe in the value of individual choice and that the people of Wisconsin are better equipped to make their own decisions rather than bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. 

How will you use your position to improve the economic well-being of your constituents?

First and foremost is always a focus on constituent services. We work around the clock to help folks navigate problems with federal agencies, like the VA and IRS. I am also focused on removing government obstacles to opportunity, pro-growth economic policies that support family-wage jobs and making sure Wisconsin taxpayers are getting their money’s worth in Washington. For example, I have worked with Minnesota Rep. Pete Stauber to secure additional funding for small shipyards, like Fraser in Superior, as well as legislation to enable those shipyards to conduct routine maintenance and repairs on Navy vessels.

What actions will you support on the abortion issue?

I believe in the sanctity of life, and that everyone in our society has the right to life, including the unborn. I believe that the Supreme Court decision returning this issue to the states, and the will of the people, will help promote policies that value and protect life. And I will never support barbaric policies like partial-birth abortion of full-term babies, or any policies that would allow taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. I believe we can protect both the life of the mother and the life of the unborn child.

What is your education agenda? (Student loan forgiveness, affordable post secondary education, new graduate employment)

A drive around any of our communities will show no shortage of help wanted signs. The problem is that politicians have created perverse incentives that encourage welfare over work, driving the labor participation rate down. Instead we should encourage students to pursue the skills necessary for success, not financing an education bureaucracy that sometimes spends more time indoctrinating kids than educating them – while ignoring parents. I oppose President Biden’s student loan bailout. It’s not fair to make graduates who paid off their student loans – or skilled, blue-collar workers who didn’t attend college at all – to pick up somebody else’s tab.

How will you support agriculture if elected?

As someone who grew up on a dairy farm in western Wisconsin, this issue is important and very personal to me. For far too long politicians and bureaucrats in Washington have imposed heavy-handed regulations, as well as energy and trade policies that have hurt Wisconsin farmers. That needs to end. I am committed to restoring American energy independence, permanently repealing the death tax, scaling back overzealous federal interference in farm country, and demanding fair trade agreements that promote the export of American products, not American jobs.

District 3

Brad Pfaff

Brad Pfaff.jpg

Brad Pfaff. File photo

Family: Married to Betty Pfaff, with two college-age children.

Education: University of Wisconsin, Green Bay (BA), George Mason University (MPA).

Occupation: Wisconsin state senator, 32nd Senate District.

Political Experience: Secretary of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

What values or morals would you bring to your position?

I was born and raised in western Wisconsin on a La Crosse County dairy farm, and I’ve used homegrown values to inform a career of public service. Just like on the farm, I believe in the values of hard work, honesty and service to my country. My opponent, on the other hand, has proven he doesn’t understand our way of life. That explains his track record sexual and verbal harassment of women, participation in the Jan. 6 attack against our country, and the fact he’s on probation. He is hiding this record from voters. 

How will you use your position to improve the economic well-being of your constituents?

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us how fragile our supply chains are, and two years later they still haven’t recovered, which has led to high costs at the gas pump, at the grocery checkout counter, and more. Working families in this district need an ally in Congress who understands the challenges they’re facing. That’s why I’ve released a plan to drive down costs by investing in domestic manufacturing and repairing our broken supply chains, all while creating high-paying jobs along the way.

What actions will you support on the abortion issue?

Facing a pregnancy complication was really scary for my wife and I, but having the right to make our own reproductive decisions allowed us to make the best choice for our family. My opponent wants to make those decisions for my family and millions of other families. Unlike him, I’ll never stop fighting for your right to choose here in Wisconsin, and as Congressman, I won’t rest until we make Roe v. Wade the law of the land nationwide.

What is your education agenda? (Student loan forgiveness, affordable post secondary education, new graduate employment)

I’m pleased to see that Washington is starting to take the issue of education costs seriously, but we need real, long-term solutions that address the root causes of student debt, not Band-Aids. We also need to make sure any serious plan to address education costs includes all Americans, not just those with a four-year degree. That’s why I released a plan to cut costs across the board and invest in affordable alternatives to higher education. That way, hardworking Wisconsinites can receive an affordable education that leads to high-paying careers that don’t require a college degree.

How will you support agriculture if elected? 

I was born and raised in this district on my family’s dairy farm, and I’ve spent my career fighting for Wisconsin’s family farmers at the state and national level. I understand the challenges facing our farmers, and I know that they need a voice at the agriculture policymaking table, not Derrick Van Orden, who has no plan for our farming communities. With the 2023 Farm Bill on the horizon, we need real leadership and real experience on the House Agriculture Committee, and that’s exactly why I’m running.

Derrick Van Orden

Derrick Van Orden.png

Derrick Van Orden. File photo.

Family: Wife, Sara Jane; four children, eight grandchildren

Education: Bachelor of Sciences, Excelsior College

Occupation: Navy SEAL (retired)

Political Experience: None, first time running for public office

What values or morals would you bring to your position?

When I joined the Navy at 18, I took an oath to serve and defend the Constitution of the United States, and oaths don’t expire. I have committed my life to service of this country, first in more than 26 years in the U.S. Navy, 21 of those as a SEAL with five combat deployments, and now as a citizen running to represent the incredible people of Wisconsin’s 3rd District.

How will you use your position to improve the economic well-being of your constituents?

First and foremost, we need to reduce the cost of living for our families. Out of control spending, all of which was supported by my opponent, has made it so that families are struggling to fill up their gas tanks and buy groceries on the same day. That is unacceptable, and the first way to fix it is a balanced budget amendment. Cut out the wasteful spending of DC politicians and focus on putting more money back in the pockets of our families.

What actions will you support on the abortion issue?

I believe that every life is a gift from God and the Supreme Court’s decision was a great step in protecting the lives of the unborn. I will vehemently oppose the extreme policies of the left that support taxpayer funding for abortions up until the moment of birth and always fight for the lives of the unborn.

What is your education agenda? (Student loan forgiveness, affordable post secondary education, new graduate employment)

It’s patently unfair for the United States government to compel the folks that chose an alternative to college to pay off someone else’s degree that they voluntarily took a loan out for. I believe we need to stop villainizing labor and provide more opportunities for local community colleges, training in the trades, and more opportunity for the jobs the built this nation. As a SEAL, I’m a lifelong tradesman, and I believe we need to further promote the trades.

How will you support agriculture if elected?

Our farmers need reduced input costs. Planting seeds, growing, harvesting and processing crops takes diesel, which the Biden Administration's policies has made prohibitively expensive for farmers. Rural development is the purview of the Agriculture Committee, and I will be there to actually fix problems, not campaign on them. 75% of family farms that were open when my opponent started “helping farmers” are now out of business, and we have to reverse that trend. If the people of the 3rd District see fit to send me to Congress, I will work tirelessly to represent them and our Wisconsin values in D.C.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for taking part in our commenting section. We want this platform to be a safe and inclusive community where you can freely share ideas and opinions. Comments that are racist, hateful, sexist or attack others won’t be allowed. Just keep it clean. Do these things or you could be banned:

• Don’t name-call and attack other commenters. If you’d be in hot water for saying it in public, then don’t say it here.

• Don’t spam us.

• Don’t attack our journalists.

Let’s make this a platform that is educational, enjoyable and insightful.

Email questions to jjohnson@orourkemediagroup.com.

Share your opinion


Join the conversation

Recommended for you