Two run to succeed Kestell

by Jeff Pederson of The Review staff

SCOTT GROVER HEINIG Democrat SCOTT GROVER HEINIG Democrat While he is listed on the ballot as a Democrat, Sheboygan Falls native Scott Grover Heinig says he is running to represent all people of District 27, as he vies for a Wisconsin State Assembly seat in the upcoming fall general election on Tuesday Nov. 4.

Heinig is set to face off against Republican candidate Tyler Vorpagel for the District 27 state Assembly seat held by Rep. Steve Kestell, who is not seeking re-election.

The current Elkhart Lake native says he decided to run for the seat due to his strong desire to see the become more united.

“I am running to represent all the people of the 27th Assembly District,” Heinig said. “I have never been a strong party person, but have always tried to vote for the person I felt would represent the majority of my positions.

“I have a great respect for labor, as Abe Lincoln is reported to have said, ‘Wealth is created from work,’” he said. “I also believe that success is a creation of individual effort dependent on the whole. I also believe that we have an obligation to help those less fortunate develop the skills and discipline to participate in both the economic and social community and they have the obligation to develop those skills and discipline. I believe we are at a tipping point. We can choose to reunite into a stronger assembly of people or we can continue to divide the state into smaller and smaller interest groups for the benefit of a few.”

The Sheboygan Falls High School graduate has strong opinions on the implementation of Act 10, which effectively removed the ability of most public employees to engage in collective bargaining.

“I have very mixed feeling on Act 10,” Heinig said. “Because of the major changes that have taken place in the economy over the past 15 years, changes were needed.

“The demonizing of workers and unions was an unnecessary and politically divisive way to move forward,” he said. “Unfortunately, the defective nature of our political power structure and the general fear of government and big business adds to this. I do not believe anyone has thanked the teachers of the state for shouldering the burden of helping to move toward balancing the budget. ‘Thank you.’ The response to Act 10 didn’t endear those involved. They had the legal right to do so, but I do question the wisdom and costs. The political decision to divide and conquer has had a tremendous cost as to the trust of and in government and lead people to question it’s wisdom. But in a culture where win at any cost rules, the lost wisdom, ability and desire to compromise continues to beg for real leadership.”

Heinig, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Lakeland College, Master of Science degree in adult vocational education from UW-Stout and pre-K-12th grade teaching certification from UW-Madison, says the state’s public education system should strive for continued improvement.

“Wisconsin continues to have one of the best educational systems in the country” Heinig said. “We still need to improve every aspect of our system. Just like any business, you build on your strength and improve the rest. I think the greatest obstacle to education is the paradigm that it has to take place in a school, or college, or from an accredited program or person. We need to trust what we know.

“Not everyone needs or can obtain a four-year degree, or more,” he said. “Many people would be better served by a system that cares more about the students than about the business of education. We need to also report more honesty where the system is failing the students, and were the students are failing the system, so we can address both.”

Heinig, who has 19 years of teaching experience at the high school, technical college and college level to go along with 17 years working in the retail, hospitality and manufacturing fields, says addressing unemployment is a multi-step process.

“As I understand it, we have 78,000 job opening and 115,000 unemployed, so we could just make the unemployed take the open jobs,” Heinig said. “But as we all know it isn’t that easy. As the Wisconsin Technology Council pointed out in 2011, there is no one answer, but multiple steps need to be taken

“ I would like to see Wisconsin take some bold step,” he said. ”We could address minimum wage and unemployment by providing free child care for working parents, which would be an equivalent of a four dollar an hour increase. It wouldn’t affect the economics of increasing the minimum wage for businesses. It would call for more childcare workers and early education teachers.

“I would like to work on developing a cost for benefit tax system, so we get as equitable as possible when either cutting or increasing taxes,” Heinig said.

Although he has held positions on both the Sheboygan Falls and Elkhart Lake school boards in the past, Heinig describes himself as a political newcomer.

“Many are also concerned about the increasing number of people refusing to participate in the economic system, and ask why we continue to support them at a level so that they do not have to,” he said. “Some are concerned at the increasing indebtedness of college students and question whether they all should be directed to a four-year degree. All of these thoughts need to be respected as we move the state forward.”

“I have taught at New Holstein, Lakeshore Technical College, Door County Charter School, and work for several of our local manufactures as a laborer and manager,” he said.

One grandfather was a leader in the Kohler’s Worker Association, and the other ran a successful family business and was a civic leader in Sheboygan.

As the candidate for the 27th Assembly District I am asking for your vote because I will represent you.”

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