Your Voice, Your Vote: The 6th Congressional District
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District covers much of the western and southern portions of WBAY’s viewing area. Incumbent Republican Glenn Grothman looks to hold his seat in the House of Representatives. He faces Democrat Jessica King, who believes change is needed in Washington. It won’t be easy for Democrats, as Republicans have held this seat all but two years dating back to 1940.
Glenn Grothman is considered among the most conservative members of Congress, and right now he’s on the ballot seeking his fourth term representing a district he’s won by at least 10 percentage points in each of the past three elections.
During a sit-down interview with Grothman, our very first question was about the biggest issue facing the country: how to control COVID-19 and prevent people from getting sick.
“I’m a big advocate for vitamin D. I think universities in the United States and Europe have shown that if you take vitamin D it can substantially improve your outcomes. Right now 40 percent of Americans don’t have enough vitamin D. I’m an advocate for drugs we can get to the market before the vaccines get out there."
What Grothman says he doesn’t support are national or statewide lockdowns forcing businesses to close.
“I’ve talked to hospital administrators. They tell me the big problems are family gatherings. You talk about bars and restaurants. They actually find that family gatherings is where a lot of this spreads.”
While some Republicans have distanced themselves from President Trump, Grothman has embraced the opportunity to be a speaker at rallies, like one recently in De Pere.
“They’ve lost the right to own guns in England and Australia. You think it’s going to happen here under Joe Biden, he’ll do all he can to make sure that’s true. Make sure your friends know about it.”
Not only does Grothman support the 2nd Amendment and concealed-carry legislation but is also a vocal supporter of law enforcement and a number of ideas proposed by the president.
“I like what President Trump has done on trade. It would have been so nice if somebody like George Bush or Barack Obama would have looked out for the American citizen like Donald Trump, but Donald Trump is doing it and that’s what I like about him. He’s doing so many things, like with the V.A., that other presidents, George Bush didn’t get this done, neither did Clinton or Obama.”
In Congress right now, Grothman is a member of the Committee on Education and Labor and says the burden of student loan debt is something that must be addressed. He’s also an advocate for tech schools.
“We need more skills based education. We have too many kids going to school, they don’t get the skills they need for a good job. Manufacturers, construction, medical care, are all looking for people and they pay very well.”
Since the pandemic, Grothman says he’s continued to campaign and attend events. He also wears a mask when necessary.
“I work as hard as I can. I bet there’s not another congressman out there who gets to more church festivals, Lions Club events, American Legion events, or parades than I do. I hope that the public appreciates that I do get around, meet other people and hope it will pay off for me on election day."
Grothman’s challenger in this election is Jessica King, a former Democratic member of the state Senate, winning a recall election in 2011 as a challenger but losing in the 2012 general election.
“It’s not a good time for incumbents to be on the ballot because they’re part of the reason why we find ourselves in the challenges we have today.”
The Fond du Lac native has previously served on Oshkosh’s Common Council.
For the last seven years she’s been the Vice President of Clinical Denials for a nationwide company that represents hospitals and their patients in pursuit of payment for wrongfully denied medical bills. That experience is what inspired her to get back on the campaign trail.
“It really motivated because I feel like the last four years there hasn’t been any good, tangible proposals for how to reform health care, and I think having people who are in the frontlines of that world could lead the reform."
King says families should have access to quality affordable care and prescriptions.
“Now the COVID pandemic has made that fragility of our federal system even more real for people, and with so many people losing their employment does it really make sense at this point to have a system that relies on employer-based health care plans? And do we need a national public option that allows people to choose? I think so. I think we’re ready for it."
The pandemic’s toll on the economy is another issue King believes she could help solve. King says she served on the Oshkosh Council and as deputy mayor during the 2008 recession which helped her learn how relief packages should be built.
“It’s really a shame that the federal government has not provided economic relief to states and municipal governments, and as soon as I’m elected on day one I’m going to be fighting for our local communities and our state government to make sure they get the resources to help build us out of the recession."
As a working mom whose son is currently in virtual schooling, King says she knows what families are facing right now.
“I know there’s a lot of families out there who feel the same way I do. They just want a plan. They want leadership, they want people to work together, because the longer we are at this impasse the longer it will take to recover."
King points to her own state senate record as proof she can work across the aisle.
“Had a voting record of about 80 percent with my Republican colleagues at the time because I understand good ideas aren’t necessarily owned by a partisan party. We have to put our community before party."
She argues Grothman is too extreme and out of touch with his voting record to move things forward.
“Representative Grothman has been in office 27 years. He’s a career politician, and I really believe that if he had any great ideas or revolutionary change or reform he could bring, he would’ve offered it by now."
King hopes voters give her a chance to take her ideas and perspectives to Capitol Hill to be a problem-solver for some of the greatest challenges facing Wisconsin today.
“We really need somebody who cares about the future, and I want a future for my son just as much as I want it for everyone else’s family.”
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