Emerson and Reardon will face off to represent District 91 for State Assembly

Jodi Emerson and Echo Reardon emerge as frontrunners for upcoming local election

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Photo by Can Stock Photo

Emerson and Reardon will compete for the empty seat at Wisconsin State Assembly.

Election season is coming up fast, so knowing who is running for office, especially on a local level, is a key aspect to staying informed. In Wisconsin, representatives for the State Assembly are elected in the fall general election. A spot opened in the State Assembly after current State Rep. Dana Wachs did not campaign for reelection.

Below are the two candidates running to represent the Eau Claire area in the Wisconsin State Assembly: Jodi Emerson and Echo Reardon.

Jodi Emerson (D):

Jodi Emerson is an Eau Claire native running on the Democratic ticket. Though she does not have any formal political experience, Emerson works as a legal assistant at Asher Law Office and is the former director of public policy and community relations at Fierce Freedom, an organization devoted to ending human trafficking and advocating for survivors of human trafficking. Emerson and her family have lived in the Eau Claire community for over 20 years.

Emerson has been involved with anti-human trafficking organizations at the local and state level. According to her website, she is currently a member of the Wisconsin Anti-Trafficking Consortium, as well as a member of the Wisconsin Anti-Trafficking Advisory Council.

Emerson won the Democratic ticket for the State Assembly elections after debating against three other candidates in August. Her website, emersonforassembly.com, includes a brief biography detailing her ties to the Eau Claire community and her motivation behind running for the State Assembly. Emerson’s Facebook page, Jodi Emerson for Assembly, offers an additional platform for the spread of information.

“Often people feel that they do not have a voice in Madison, that their concerns are not being heard by those who have been elected to represent us.” Emerson said on her website. “I will listen, and I will bring a voice to those voices not being heard in Madison.”

Emerson’s website also includes a separate tab that focuses strictly on the issues. For each of these issues, the focus within each area is bolded.

Emerson is in favor of a living wage and more accessible economic opportunities, affordable healthcare, fighting for social justice, prioritizing education, protecting the environment and bolstering the arts community.

Echo Reardon (R):

Echo Reardon is an Illinois-native running on the Republican ticket. Reardon ran unopposed in the partisan primary back in August, and will run in opposition to Jodi Emerson on November 6.

Reardon’s primary focus for her campaign lies in four areas: healthcare, education, workforce and infrastructure. In a video interview with Valley Media Works, Reardon laid out her interests in these areas with attention on how they play off of one another.

The example Reardon used in the Valley Media Works interview involved how a strong education system promotes what she called the “bright minds” to academic success, which will tie into the workforce by encouraging those bright minds to stay in Wisconsin and help grow the economy.

In the same interview, Reardon explained that her conservative values and belief in alternatives to raising taxes sets her apart from her competition in this race.

Reardon is campaigning for a healthcare system that is both accessible to all and economical. A few of her main focuses within the healthcare system involve the opioid crisis and providing better care to those with chronic illnesses.

Reardon’s interest in the healthcare system stems from her own knowledge and involvement in it. Reardon works in Eau Claire as a nurse and nurse anesthetist. She has seen firsthand how the healthcare system works.

In a 2017 Public Health Profile conducted county-by-county by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, there were over 7,800 hospitalizations in Eau Claire County alone. With an average charge of over $29,000 per hospitalization, the concern over healthcare in Wisconsin is arguably a hot-button topic with both of the District 91 candidates.

Reardon has conducted multiple interviews, both at the local and state level, where she fleshes out her campaign beliefs and goals. Her Facebook page, Echo Reardon For State Assembly, provides a political platform for the digital age.

The General Elections will take place on November 6. Polling places are dependent on districts in Eau Claire. Information about where to vote and what is required to do so can be found on the Eau Claire County website.

Van Allen can be reached at [email protected].