BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - Campaigning for Wisconsin’s 1st State Senate District is in full swing with the special election primary just over a month away.
Several state republicans have announced they are not supporting Republican Representative Andre Jacque, who does have the endorsement of all five sheriffs in the 1st State Senate District.
State Representatives Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay), John Nygren (R-Marinette), David Steffen (R-Howard), and John Macco (R-Bellevue)— as well as former State Representatives Al Ott (R-Forest Junction) and Dave Hutchison (R-Dyckesville)— announced their support for political newcomer Alex Renard in a statement, calling him a "proven conservative leader" and "the most capable candidate in the race for Wisconsin’s 1st State Senate District.”
Twenty-four-year-old Renard helps run a family-owned Green Bay factory called Renco. Thirty-seven-year-old Jacque has been in the Assembly for seven years.
For Rep. Jacque, those words from his colleagues pack a punch.
Action 2 News asked Jacque if he asked for endorsements from any of these Republicans.
“There were a couple of the individuals I did call and asked where they're at in the race. I didn't get calls back from some individuals,” said Jacque. “Having knocked on doors for them in the past, Madison can change people and relationships unfortunately. I'm not going to hold any grudges. These are people that I'm certainly going to continue to work with in Madison."
Jacque made headlines holding a hearing about repealing the prevailing wage law, winning him no favor with Speaker Robin Vos as well as other lawmakers and some lobbyists.
“I've had people take me aside before and say, ‘Gee, Andre, you know— it really wouldn't be good for you politically to do this or to cast this vote.’ Told me that I would lose political support if I continued to push particular legislation,” said Jacque. "I'm not just a rubber stamp for a particular person down in Madison. I'm sent down to Madison to represent the people of the Second Assembly District.”
Renard says he's not in this election with ringing endorsements from Republicans just to oust Jacque from the Capitol.
"I think that they recognize that my background as a job creator, someone who comes from the private sector, that my skills and what I bring to the table will prove to be beneficial for the citizens of the district,” Renard told Action 2 News.
“People are questioning if it was your own idea to run or if you were urged by people who don't like Andre Jacque. What's your answer to that?” we asked Renard.
“I can tell you 100 percent that I want to serve the district that I grew up in and that's my reason for running. I want to give them a voice in Madison,” said Renard.
Democrat Caleb Frostman is also in the running for District 1, which includes parts of Brown, Door, Calumet, Kewaunee and Manitowoc Counties.