Former PIC director Laning runs for Senate

by Jeff Pederson
of The Review staff


MARTHA LANING, former executive director of the Plymouth Intergenerational Center, announces her plans to run for the Ninth District State Senate seat in the November 2014 fall election Wednesday morning at the Intergenerational Center in Plymouth. Laning will run as a Democrat against longtime Republican Sen. Joe Leibham. — Review photo by Jeff Pederson MARTHA LANING, former executive director of the Plymouth Intergenerational Center, announces her plans to run for the Ninth District State Senate seat in the November 2014 fall election Wednesday morning at the Intergenerational Center in Plymouth. Laning will run as a Democrat against longtime Republican Sen. Joe Leibham. — Review photo by Jeff Pederson Flanked by family, friends and community supporters, former Plymouth Intergenerational Center Executive Director Martha Laning announced her intentions to run for the Ninth District State Senate seat in the November 2014 fall election Wednesday morning at the Intergenerational Center in Plymouth.

Laning, who helped found the Plymouth Intergenerational Center, will run as a Democrat against longtime Republican Sen. Joe Leibham, who has held the seat since 2002.

After being introduced by her son Alec, who is a junior at Sheboygan North High School, Laning discussed her family upbringing and background in financial management and nonprofi t leadership.

“I was raised in a family that stressed hard work, financial responsibility and supporting your community through volunteering,” Laning said. “I was raised with Wisconsin values which represent helping your neighbor in good and bad times.

“The Wisconsin of today is not the Wisconsin I remember,” she said. “I want to bring back the Wisconsin that I was so proud of. Wisconsin has been and still is a great place to raise a family and want to focus on bringing people together so that we can solve our problems together.”

Laning, who is entering her first political election, discussed her recent success in raising money and building support for the Plymouth Intergenerational Center under diffi cult economic circumstances.

“This building has a special place in my heart,” Laning said. “I was told many times that this building would never be built,” Laning said. “I refused to believe that and I worked hard to bring government offi cials, business leaders and citizens of the community together to make this building a reality.

“I helped to raise $4.6 million dollars for this building right after the economy collapsed in 2008,” she said. “We opened the doors in May of 2011 and in January of this year we paid off all of the bills. This building now serves as a community center where seniors and children and everyone in between can come together.”

Laning stressed the importance of working together with politicians in both parties, as well as leaders in the business and nonprofit communities to tackle the state’s problems.

“In our state today we are dealing with a stagnant economy, which has left many people facing job loss, rising health care costs, foreclosures and and an uncertain future,” Laning said. “Our public schools and the Badger Care program have seen significant cuts in funding and our state is projected to have a $700 million budget deficit in 2015.

“I plan to educate people about the things going on today that are not in the best interest of the people,” she said. “Our political leaders need to stop fighting, pointing fingers and game playing and start working for the people again.”

Leibham, who served two terms in the state Assembly from 1998 to 2002, defeated Democratic

Sen. Jim Baumgart to earn the Ninth District Senate seat in 2002.

In 2008, Leibham defeated Democrat Jason Borden, after earning more than 71 percent of the votes cast.

The Ninth District includes eastern Sheboygan County, southern Manitowoc County and parts of eastern Calumet County.


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