2018 Election Resources – State Senate candidate responses

State Senate candidates
updated 10-16-18
District 1
  • Caleb Frostman, Dem – incumbent
  • Andre Jacques, Rep (no response to date)

District 5

  • Julie Henszey, Dem
  • Dale Kooyenga, Rep – incumbent (no response to date)

District 9

  • Kyle Whelton, Dem
  • Devin LeMahieu, Rep – incumbent (no response to date)

District 13

  • Michelle Zahn, Dem
  • Scott Fitzgerald, Rep – incumbent (no response to date)

District 19

  • Lee Snodgrass, Dem
    Roger Roth, Rep – incumbent (no response to date)

District 21

  • Lori Hawkins, Dem
  • Van Wanggaard, Rep – incumbent (no response to date)

District 23

District 25

  • Janet Bewley, Dem – incumbent
  • James Bolen, Rep (no response to date)

District 27

  • Jon Erpenbach, Dem – incumbent
  • Casey Helbach, Rep (no response to date)

District 29

  • Richard Pulcher, Dem
  • Rob Stafsholt, Rep – incumbent (no response to date)

District 1
Q1 – Caleb Frostman, info@calebfrostman.com

Q2 – Yes
Q3 – agree
Q4 – The arts have played an important role in my life by helping me cope, grow, and express. I used drawing to help cope with my parents’ divorce and developed a strong skill in the medium throughout my adolescence. From late elementary school through adulthood, I took part in different performing arts, starting with band in 5th grade, chorus in 6th grade, a musical in 8th grade, co-writing, directing, and performing in a 20-minute musical comedy in college, and writing and performing stand-up comedy after college. Whether it was learning lines for a musical, practicing for an upcoming band concert, or rearranging words and pauses for stand-up, being immersed in the arts taught me how to improve a skill, work with a team, and use emotion to express myself and express emotion to affect others. Additionally, I believe that the arts impact our community by driving complex critical thinking and encouraging individual expression. It enriches our lives and enhances the vibrancy of our community.
Q5 – Yes
Q6 – Yes
District 5
Q1- Julie Henszey, info@julieforwi.com
Q2 – Background: Wisconsin’s arts and cultural organizations add energy to the economy, enhance education for all Wisconsin students, provide access to the arts and support quality of life in every corner of the state. According to January 2017 Dun and Bradstreet data, Wisconsin boasts nearly 10,000 arts-related businesses that employ over 51,000 people. The nonprofit arts sector alone provides an economic impact of $637 million. Statement: State appropriations and policies to advance Wisconsin’s creative industries (including arts, cultural, historical, humanities, science, and arts education resources) are critically important for a strong economic and innovative future in Wisconsin.Do you support the establishment of Wisconsin Creates, an innovative state program to grow Wisconsin’s investment in its creative economy?
  • Yes

Comments: I think that efforts to invest in Wisconsin’s creative economy strengthen our state. I come from a family of professional artists, so I understand the value of art endeavors and the funding for them.

Q3 – Background: Global research and practice show that students with high levels of arts participation outperform other students on virtually every measure from standardized tests to community participation, and that learning through the arts has a significant effect on learning in other areas, particularly in the early years.The arts and creativity are a critical component of the overall education of all Wisconsin students as they engage in the 21st century workforce. Knowledge and creativity add up to a workforce with a competitive edge in a global economy. In that equation, knowledge represents what we can know; creativity helps us manage the unknown. Arts education develops that creative capacity inherent in everyone; it is the single discipline that specifically teaches the skills needed to drive creative thought toward innovative action. We know that Wisconsin needs more workers proficient in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) studies; to capitalize on their expertise, we must add the arts for STEAM in Wisconsin. Statement: Wisconsin should support policies and funding to increase the availability and integration of arts programs in Wisconsin’s schools, to benefit all Wisconsin students.Do you:
  • strongly agree

Comments:  One of the main reasons I’m running for State Senate is to increase K-12 education funding for all subject areas, including arts education.

Q4 – Creativity has always been a basic means of human expression.  Everyone in Wisconsin is involved in the arts and creativity in some way. What role do arts, culture, and creativity play in your life, your family, your community? What impact does it have?

I will first just rattle off my experience with music. – My husband is a semi-professional musician and a singer/songwriter. He has put out several “folk-inspired rock” (my words, not his) CD’s over the past 35 years. He is well known in the metro music community for people in that genre who are over 50. – I took piano lessons — serious lessons — for six years. – In high school, our jazz band won the state championships three years in a row. I was the lead sax player. I went to jazz improvisation camp and took private lessons in the summer. – I also tried playing bagpipes for two years in high school. We had to drive an hour to my teacher’s house for lessons once a week. The impact of this has been a life-long appreciation for artists themselves, their devotion to their work, and the performances that they deliver for a community’s enjoyment and reflection opportunity. It is the reflective piece that consumes me more. We get to explore elements of ourselves when we experience something powerful in art. Those insights can move us to view the world differently, as we change our lens just a bit. Nothing is more exciting than that kind of growth.

Q5 – Would you like more information on the arts, arts education, creative economy, creative placemaking, and community cultural development in Wisconsin?
  • Yes
Q6 – Wisconsin’s arts, business, education and civic leaders are motivated to advance the arts and Wisconsin Creates for Wisconsin. Would you accept contributions from the Wisconsin Cultural Citizens Conduit?
  • Yes

Comments::

  • As the next State Senator from the 5th District I will look for ways to work with Arts Wisconsin to support our creative economy and the arts in our community.
District 9

Q1 – Kyle Whelton, kyle@wheltonforsenate.com

Q2 – Yes

Comments:  I support finding ways to bolster and grow Wisconsin’s vibrant creative economy. I look forward to working with stakeholders to learn more about this proposal.

Q3 – strongly agree

Comments: As a School Board Member, I know the importance of the arts in ensuring our students are well-rounded and develop critical thinking. I strongly support increasing the funding for public education so that we have the resources to fully support arts curriculum for all students.

Q4 – The arts are a lifelong passion of mine and something I think are critically important in the developing imagination and critical thinking in children. Throughout middle school and high school, I was in 13 plays and musicals. I also attended a half-day public Charter School called etude for high school that focused on merging arts and academics to develop critical thinking. As a result, the arts are still a big part of my life and something I actively support in my community. As a School Board Member, I serve on the Facilities and Recreation Committee which oversees the Sheboygan Theatre Company and actively endeavor to promote and support it. The arts are still a great passion of mine and something I believe are critical to creating a healthy community dialogue. They allow us to discuss complex issues that face society, create empathy, and force us to consider viewpoints that we may not typically experiences. Personally, the arts are a stress relief and something that brings me great joy. As a family, they bring us together and create wonderful shared memories.
Q5 – Yes
Q6 – Yes
Comments:  I look forward to working with Arts Wisconsin to support our creative economy and advancing the role of the arts in our communities.
District 13
Q1 – Michelle Zahn zahnforsenate@gmail.com
Q2 – Background: Wisconsin’s arts and cultural organizations add energy to the economy, enhance education for all Wisconsin students, provide access to the arts and support quality of life in every corner of the state. According to January 2017 Dun and Bradstreet data, Wisconsin boasts nearly 10,000 arts-related businesses that employ over 51,000 people. The nonprofit arts sector alone provides an economic impact of $637 million. Statement: State appropriations and policies to advance Wisconsin’s creative industries (including arts, cultural, historical, humanities, science, and arts education resources) are critically important for a strong economic and innovative future in Wisconsin.Do you support the establishment of Wisconsin Creates, an innovative state program to grow Wisconsin’s investment in its creative economy?
  • Yes

Comments: Of course I support the arts. It would be nice, though, to have more information about plans to fund this program.

Q3 – Background: Global research and practice show that students with high levels of arts participation outperform other students on virtually every measure from standardized tests to community participation, and that learning through the arts has a significant effect on learning in other areas, particularly in the early years.The arts and creativity are a critical component of the overall education of all Wisconsin students as they engage in the 21st century workforce. Knowledge and creativity add up to a workforce with a competitive edge in a global economy. In that equation, knowledge represents what we can know; creativity helps us manage the unknown. Arts education develops that creative capacity inherent in everyone; it is the single discipline that specifically teaches the skills needed to drive creative thought toward innovative action. We know that Wisconsin needs more workers proficient in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) studies; to capitalize on their expertise, we must add the arts for STEAM in Wisconsin. Statement: Wisconsin should support policies and funding to increase the availability and integration of arts programs in Wisconsin’s schools, to benefit all Wisconsin students.Do you:
  • strongly agree
Q4 – Creativity has always been a basic means of human expression.  Everyone in Wisconsin is involved in the arts and creativity in some way. What role do arts, culture, and creativity play in your life, your family, your community? What impact does it have?

The arts have always played a major part in my life. I am a firm believer that they can and should play a major part in everyone’s life.

Q5 – Would you like more information on the arts, arts education, creative economy, creative placemaking, and community cultural development in Wisconsin?
  • Yes
Q6 – Wisconsin’s arts, business, education and civic leaders are motivated to advance the arts and Wisconsin Creates for Wisconsin. Would you accept contributions from the Wisconsin Cultural Citizens Conduit?
  • Yes

Comments: I have run a very low profile campaign to date because I want to prove that it can be done without major funding, but I could use a little extra money in these last weeks for media ads. The more I have, the more I will spend on ads. Radio, newspapers and social media.

District 19
Q1 – Lee Snodgrass snodgrass4senate@gmail.com

Q2 – Background: Wisconsin’s arts and cultural organizations add energy to the economy, enhance education for all Wisconsin students, provide access to the arts and support quality of life in every corner of the state. According to January 2017 Dun and Bradstreet data, Wisconsin boasts nearly 10,000 arts-related businesses that employ over 51,000 people. The nonprofit arts sector alone provides an economic impact of $637 million. Statement: State appropriations and policies to advance Wisconsin’s creative industries (including arts, cultural, historical, humanities, science, and arts education resources) are critically important for a strong economic and innovative future in Wisconsin.Do you support the establishment of Wisconsin Creates, an innovative state program to grow Wisconsin’s investment in its creative economy?
  • Yes

Comments: I read the text of both bills and and am in support.

Q3 – Background: Global research and practice show that students with high levels of arts participation outperform other students on virtually every measure from standardized tests to community participation, and that learning through the arts has a significant effect on learning in other areas, particularly in the early years.The arts and creativity are a critical component of the overall education of all Wisconsin students as they engage in the 21st century workforce. Knowledge and creativity add up to a workforce with a competitive edge in a global economy. In that equation, knowledge represents what we can know; creativity helps us manage the unknown. Arts education develops that creative capacity inherent in everyone; it is the single discipline that specifically teaches the skills needed to drive creative thought toward innovative action. We know that Wisconsin needs more workers proficient in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) studies; to capitalize on their expertise, we must add the arts for STEAM in Wisconsin. Statement: Wisconsin should support policies and funding to increase the availability and integration of arts programs in Wisconsin’s schools, to benefit all Wisconsin students.Do you:
  • agree
Q4 – Creativity has always been a basic means of human expression.  Everyone in Wisconsin is involved in the arts and creativity in some way. What role do arts, culture, and creativity play in your life, your family, your community? What impact does it have?

I am fortunate to live in Appleton and the Fox Valley which has placed a big emphasis on arts in the community from our public murals, Art Walk events, Public art and sculpture programs as well as being near Lawrence University who bring their own musical and art events and opportunities to our community. My son is a jazz musician and is a member of Fox Valley Youth Symphony and we are regular participants in arts and arts related programs.

Q5 – Would you like more information on the arts, arts education, creative economy, creative placemaking, and community cultural development in Wisconsin?
  • Yes
Q6 – Wisconsin’s arts, business, education and civic leaders are motivated to advance the arts and Wisconsin Creates for Wisconsin. Would you accept contributions from the Wisconsin Cultural Citizens Conduit?
  • Yes
District 21
Q1 – Lori Hawkins, hawkinsforwi@gmail.com
Q2 – Yes

Comments: The Wisconsin Creates program has the potential to help create jobs and promote tourism throughout our state. Even though the legislation was unanimously approved in committee, I was saddened to see that it wasn’t passed by the legislature. I look forward to learning more about the legislation and working to see it pass in the next session.

Q3 – strongly agree

Comments:  It is no secret that Wisconsin’s schools are desperately underfunded. One of my top priorities as State Senator will be to restore funding to K-12 education. This includes making sure arts programs have sufficient funding as well. Students succeed when they have a well-rounded education, including everything from math to choir and from writing to painting.

Q4 – Since both my uncle and aunt are professional musicians, my grandmother’s house was always filled with music. I followed suit by playing in the band throughout my junior high and high school years. As a mom, my husband and I make the effort to expose our kids to theatre, visual art, and different genres of music. My son plays numerous instruments and is one of those kids who needs music to thrive both at home and at school. For all children, but especially for kids like my son, keeping the arts alive in our public schools is an absolute necessity.
Q5 – Yes
Q6 – Yes
Comments:  I look forward to working with Arts Wisconsin to support the arts in our local communities.

District 23
Q1- Chris Kapsner (Wisconsin 23rd State Senate District) info@kapsnerforsenate.com

Q2 – Background: Wisconsin’s arts and cultural organizations add energy to the economy, enhance education for all Wisconsin students, provide access to the arts and support quality of life in every corner of the state. According to January 2017 Dun and Bradstreet data, Wisconsin boasts nearly 10,000 arts-related businesses that employ over 51,000 people. The nonprofit arts sector alone provides an economic impact of $637 million. Statement: State appropriations and policies to advance Wisconsin’s creative industries (including arts, cultural, historical, humanities, science, and arts education resources) are critically important for a strong economic and innovative future in Wisconsin.Do you support the establishment of Wisconsin Creates, an innovative state program to grow Wisconsin’s investment in its creative economy?
  • Yes

Comments: I believe that Wisconsin’s vibrant creative economy is a driving force behind the economic success of many communities across our state. I support efforts to strengthen our creative economy and I look forward to learning more about this proposal.

Q3 – Background: Global research and practice show that students with high levels of arts participation outperform other students on virtually every measure from standardized tests to community participation, and that learning through the arts has a significant effect on learning in other areas, particularly in the early years.The arts and creativity are a critical component of the overall education of all Wisconsin students as they engage in the 21st century workforce. Knowledge and creativity add up to a workforce with a competitive edge in a global economy. In that equation, knowledge represents what we can know; creativity helps us manage the unknown. Arts education develops that creative capacity inherent in everyone; it is the single discipline that specifically teaches the skills needed to drive creative thought toward innovative action. We know that Wisconsin needs more workers proficient in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) studies; to capitalize on their expertise, we must add the arts for STEAM in Wisconsin. Statement: Wisconsin should support policies and funding to increase the availability and integration of arts programs in Wisconsin’s schools, to benefit all Wisconsin students. Do you:
  • agree

Comments:  I support efforts to increase K-12 education funding for all subject areas, including arts education. I believe that providing students with access to arts curriculum is an important part of a high quality education.

Q4
Creativity has always been a basic means of human expression.  Everyone in Wisconsin is involved in the arts and creativity in some way. What role do arts, culture, and creativity play in your life, your family, your community? What impact does it have?

I agree that creativity is everywhere. My children have enjoyed Drama Club and Visual Arts Classic competitions. As a family, we have watched plays at the Mabel Tainter Theater, enjoyed art shows at the State Theater in Eau Claire, and attended the symphony in Minneapolis. We seek out museums wherever we visit, so we get a look at the culture, values, architecture of those that came before us.

Q5 – Would you like more information on the arts, arts education, creative economy, creative placemaking, and community cultural development in Wisconsin?
  • Yes
Q6 – Wisconsin’s arts, business, education and civic leaders are motivated to advance the arts and Wisconsin Creates for Wisconsin. Would you accept contributions from the Wisconsin Cultural Citizens Conduit?
  • Yes

Comments: I look forward to working with Arts Wisconsin to support our creative economy and the arts in our community.

Q1 – Janet Bewley janet.bewley@gmail.com
Q2 – Background: Wisconsin’s arts and cultural organizations add energy to the economy, enhance education for all Wisconsin students, provide access to the arts and support quality of life in every corner of the state. According to January 2017 Dun and Bradstreet data, Wisconsin boasts nearly 10,000 arts-related businesses that employ over 51,000 people. The nonprofit arts sector alone provides an economic impact of $637 million. Statement: State appropriations and policies to advance Wisconsin’s creative industries (including arts, cultural, historical, humanities, science, and arts education resources) are critically important for a strong economic and innovative future in Wisconsin.Do you support the establishment of Wisconsin Creates, an innovative state program to grow Wisconsin’s investment in its creative economy?
  • Yes

Comments: I have many questions about how this entity would be structured.

Q3 – Background: Global research and practice show that students with high levels of arts participation outperform other students on virtually every measure from standardized tests to community participation, and that learning through the arts has a significant effect on learning in other areas, particularly in the early years.The arts and creativity are a critical component of the overall education of all Wisconsin students as they engage in the 21st century workforce. Knowledge and creativity add up to a workforce with a competitive edge in a global economy. In that equation, knowledge represents what we can know; creativity helps us manage the unknown. Arts education develops that creative capacity inherent in everyone; it is the single discipline that specifically teaches the skills needed to drive creative thought toward innovative action. We know that Wisconsin needs more workers proficient in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) studies; to capitalize on their expertise, we must add the arts for STEAM in Wisconsin. Statement: Wisconsin should support policies and funding to increase the availability and integration of arts programs in Wisconsin’s schools, to benefit all Wisconsin students.Do you:
  • strongly agree

Comments: The arts provide for students the most direct access to the imagination than any other discipline. Poverty and trauma destroy the ability to imagine any possibility of a different or better life. The arts open students minds to hope , and to believe that beauty can exist in their lives.

Q4 – Creativity has always been a basic means of human expression.  Everyone in Wisconsin is involved in the arts and creativity in some way. What role do arts, culture, and creativity play in your life, your family, your community? What impact does it have?

The arts have often provided resilience through difficult times for me and my children.

Q5 – Would you like more information on the arts, arts education, creative economy, creative placemaking, and community cultural development in Wisconsin?
  • Yes
Q6 – Wisconsin’s arts, business, education and civic leaders are motivated to advance the arts and Wisconsin Creates for Wisconsin. Would you accept contributions from the Wisconsin Cultural Citizens Conduit?
  • Yes

Comments: As the middle class shrinks and poverty divides us into rich and poor, we must provide students with access to the power and hope of creativity.

District 27
Q1 – Jon Erpenbach jonerpenbach@yahoo.com
Q2 – Background: Wisconsin’s arts and cultural organizations add energy to the economy, enhance education for all Wisconsin students, provide access to the arts and support quality of life in every corner of the state. According to January 2017 Dun and Bradstreet data, Wisconsin boasts nearly 10,000 arts-related businesses that employ over 51,000 people. The nonprofit arts sector alone provides an economic impact of $637 million. Statement: State appropriations and policies to advance Wisconsin’s creative industries (including arts, cultural, historical, humanities, science, and arts education resources) are critically important for a strong economic and innovative future in Wisconsin.Do you support the establishment of Wisconsin Creates, an innovative state program to grow Wisconsin’s investment in its creative economy?
  • Yes

Comments:  Yes. I support efforts to strengthen Wisconsin’s vibrant creative economy. I look forward to learning more about this proposal and working with Arts Wisconsin as a legislator.

Q3
Background: Global research and practice show that students with high levels of arts participation outperform other students on virtually every measure from standardized tests to community participation, and that learning through the arts has a significant effect on learning in other areas, particularly in the early years.The arts and creativity are a critical component of the overall education of all Wisconsin students as they engage in the 21st century workforce. Knowledge and creativity add up to a workforce with a competitive edge in a global economy. In that equation, knowledge represents what we can know; creativity helps us manage the unknown. Arts education develops that creative capacity inherent in everyone; it is the single discipline that specifically teaches the skills needed to drive creative thought toward innovative action. We know that Wisconsin needs more workers proficient in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) studies; to capitalize on their expertise, we must add the arts for STEAM in Wisconsin. Statement: Wisconsin should support policies and funding to increase the availability and integration of arts programs in Wisconsin’s schools, to benefit all Wisconsin students.Do you:
  • agree

Comments:  I support efforts to increase K-12 education funding for all subject areas, including arts education.

Q4 – Creativity has always been a basic means of human expression.  Everyone in Wisconsin is involved in the arts and creativity in some way. What role do arts, culture, and creativity play in your life, your family, your community? What impact does it have?

The arts really provide an outlet for creativity. I am particularly interested in how art can help as a form of therapy–for mental health and substance abuse. It also enriches our lives and enhances the vibrancy of our community.

Q5 – Would you like more information on the arts, arts education, creative economy, creative placemaking, and community cultural development in Wisconsin?
  • Yes
Q6 – Wisconsin’s arts, business, education and civic leaders are motivated to advance the arts and Wisconsin Creates for Wisconsin. Would you accept contributions from the Wisconsin Cultural Citizens Conduit?
  • Yes
 District 29
Q1 – Richard Pulcher W13276 South Street Lublin, WI 54447 richardpulcher@hotmail.com (715) 965 – 0925
Q2 – Yes

Comments:  Innovation is dead without creativity.

Q3 – agree
Q4 – I have been involved with the Colby Showcase Players for quite a few years.
Q5 – Yes
Q6 – Yes

Comments:  Your job allows you to live. The arts make life enjoyable.