Janesville resident Herschel Brodkey, a 19-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison student, is the first Republican to announce he is running for the 43rd State Assembly seat.
He will challenge incumbent Rep. Andy Jorgensen, D-Milton, in the November election, and the difficulty of that challenge is not something that was lost on Brodkey.
“Obviously, it’s an uphill battle,” he said. “It’s almost David vs. Goliath, but I really think that I have a shot at winning because people have seen what (Jorgensen is) doing in office. I can really shine a light on it, that he’s not representing the concerns equally, or any concerns at all.”
Brodkey said the focal point of his campaign would be addressing the many local concerns citizens of the 43rd District have.
“The Janesville Gazette called it ‘hyper-local,’ I don’t think it’s hyper-local, I just think it’s local issues,” Brodkey said. “I want to focus on the issues that really affect people every single day.”
Those issues include the proposed business route in Milton. Brodkey said he wasn’t happy with how things have progressed with it so far.
“The township is ticked off because if they do end up building this, they are going to be stuck with the payments for the maintenance … on that route,” Brodkey said. “I think it’s only fair that the city acknowledge that and say ‘We’re going to cover the maintenance for 59 all the way through the township.’”
Other concerns Brodkey specifically mentioned he would like to address were the slow/no wake orders for Lake Koshkonong and the quarry in the town of Albion, but he acknowledged that with such a big district, there would be plenty more.
A key to winning, Brodkey said, is his personality. He is only 19, but Brodkey said his enthusiasm, confidence and demeanor would ultimately prove to his advantage.
“I know everybody is going to pick on me for being this 19-year-old kid who thinks he can run,” Brodkey said. “I am a 19-year-old kid, but that doesn’t change anything. I think that when you are willing to, and people see this, that you are actually willing to really trust in them, to have that duality of trust, I trust my constituents and my constituents are going to trust me, and they see that you are actually a good person, then whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, I think they will vote for you.”