By SCOTT BAUER – Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sarah Godlewski’s first major campaign policy plan released Tuesday focuses on ways to improve life in rural Wisconsin, by improving access to health care, helping family farms survive and making high-speed internet a useful audience.
Godlewski, the state treasurer from Eau Claire, is one of many Democrats vying to take on the Republican Senator Ron Johnson in November. lieutenant governor Mandela Barnes and executive of the Milwaukee Bucks Alex Laryboth of Milwaukee, focused their early political initiatives on suffrage and other issues related to the protection of democracy.
Godlewski’s plan takes a different approach, trying to appeal to rural Democrats who could be an important voting bloc in the Aug. 9 primary. Another Democratic primary candidate, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, also portrayed himself to rural voters as a popular populist.
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Democrats struggled to win over rural voters in statewide elections, instead winning, propelled in large part by massive turnout in urban areas, especially in Milwaukee and Madison.
“Rural communities in Wisconsin have lost faith in the Democratic Party for not taking them seriously,” Bill Hogseth, former chair of the Dunn County Democrats, said in a statement released by the Godlewski campaign. He said Godlewski’s plan shows she’s serious about winning. on rural voters.
Godlewski unveiled the plan ahead of a three-day tour that will take him to rural communities across the state.
Godlewski said his plan was designed to address “kitchen table issues for rural Wisconsin” such as access to quality health care, access to broadband internet services, expanding opportunities educational and economic development, investment in farms and the protection of natural resources and the fight against climate change.
She promised that if elected, she would “make sure that politicians in Washington finally start to hear the voices of rural Wisconsin.” Godlewski said she would seek to serve on the Senate agriculture committee to advocate for updates to the farm bill and promote trade deals that will benefit Wisconsin farmers, workers and the environment.
A key part of Godlewski’s five-point plan calls for making high-speed internet, which she called “essential like electricity,” a public utility. She said it would allow the federal government to “regulate internet service providers, stop price gouging, and hold these big telecom companies accountable.”
His plan also focuses on ensuring rural Wisconsin residents have access to quality medical care, including hospitals that were struggling to survive even before the the pandemic has increased the pressure. She calls for expanding Medicaid in the state, boosting access to telehealth services, and channeling more federal money toward regional training for health care workers in Wausau and Green Bay.
It also calls for expanding loan forgiveness programs to encourage more teachers, farmers, health workers and others to live in rural areas; create incentives for farmers to use biofuels, carbon capture, crop rotation to help the environment; and ban future use of PFAS, known as chemicals forever because they persist in the environment.
This story has been corrected to show that Tom Nelson is the Outagamie County Executive.
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