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Updated: Candidates Emerge in 98th Assembly District Race

A half dozen people are showing interest in the special election that still has to be called by Gov. Scott Walker.

Editor's Note: This article was updated at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday with information about Jeanne Tarantino declaring her candidacy.

State Rep. Paul Farrow has not yet officially won the 33rd Senate District seat, although he is the only candidate on the Dec. 4 special election ballot, but nearly a half dozen people have expressed an interest in replacing him.

Jeanne Tarantino, a Waukesha Republican, became the latest candidate for the job, throwing her hat into the ring early this week while Steve Edlund, who was once considering a run, has announced he will not seek the office.

Republican Todd Greenwald, a Pewaukee resident, announced that he also running for the 98th District seat that includes Sussex, Pewaukee and portions of Waukesha (see map).

Adam Neylon, a local business owner and aide to State Rep. Bill Kramer, has also declare candidacy as a Republican in the 98th Assembly District.

Also running as a Republican is Matt Morzy. Eric Prudent, who lost earlier this month against Farrow for the 98th District seat, will be running as a Democrat. Contemplating runs on as a Republican are Jeanne Tarantino, Waukesha School Board member Steve Edlund and Pewaukee Police Chief Ed Baumann.

Farrow is moving to the State Senate – pending any write-in candidates in the special election Dec. 4 for the uncontested 33rd Senate District race – and his Assembly district seat will be vacant. Farrow won re-election to the 98th District seat on the same day he won the Senate primary.

The 33rd Senate District seat was vacated earlier this year by former Sen. Rich Zipperer. Zipperer was appointed as the deputy chief of staff and senior counsel for Gov. Scott Walker in July.

Walker has not yet called for a special election to fill the 98th Assembly District seat and will likely wait until Farrow wins the Dec. 4 election.

Running for Sure

Describing herself as a “Mom on a mission to make Wisconsin the best place to raise a family and start a business,” Tarantino served as Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch’s Chief of Staff for two years before helping the Walker administration’s efforts to increase employment by closing the skills gap, she said in a state.

“I will take the values I learned working in my family’s store and in building a business here in Waukesha to my work on your behalf in Madison,“ said Tarantino. “I know you can’t spend more than you bring in and that you should always give your customers a great value.”

Greenwald said in a statement that he looks forward to helping the conversavtive cause in Madison.

"Todd believes the conservative approach that has already been started in Madison by the existing Republican leadership is the correct way to lead Wisconsin forward, and as a representative he will work to grow that success," he said.

Greenwald is a project manager with experience in the architecture and construction fields. He is past president of the Lake Park Home Owners Association and volunteers as a soccer coach.

“I really believe in what the Governor and the Republican Party are doing for the state of Wisconsin, and I want to help,” said Greenwald.  “I think the people of the district believe it too, and they want a representative that wants to keep it moving in the right direction.”

Neylon, who also worked for U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, said in a news release he is looking to “lower taxes, improve schools, create jobs and make the government more efficient.”

Neylon served as the Waukesha County field director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin during the 2010 election, according to his release. He has been a member of the Republican Party of Waukesha County for the past six years, and previously served on the executive board. 

“I promise to always put taxpayers first, and stand for responsible budgets, and common sense government,” Neylon said in the release. “These principles have guided me all my life, and I will continue to be guided by that conservative compass in the state Assembly. Together, we can make Wisconsin the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family.”

Morzy announced he was running two days after the Nov. 6 election. He told Patch then that he is motivated by what Walker and the other Republicans are doing in the state, which is why he decided to seek election.

“I want to make sure I can do what I can to contribute to that to make sure that we keep that process going and keep improving the state of Wisconsin,” Morzy said.

Prudent lost to Farrow in the 98th District on Nov. 6, but he’s approaching the new race as a different election with a different opponent.

“I already have established somewhat of a base and connections with people,” Prudent said. “Moving forward, that is something I want to build off of.”

Prudent said he grew up with political parents, which motivated his interest in politics. But what really pushed him to run for public office was seeing the public union workers rallying and protesting in Madison after Walker first proposed the bill that put strict limitations on collective bargaining for public workers.

“I was there, days and nights, with these people,” Prudent said. “You can’t help but be inspired by that – people standing up for these rights. … That is a big reason why I ran – to give them a voice.”

Still Testing the Waters

Baumann has been a police officer for about 38 years, but he is retiring early next year from the Pewaukee Police Department. While he has had to deal with politics during his career, he said: “By no means am I a politician.”

“I am a problem solver,” Baumann said. “I want to be able to do that.”

Baumann, who expects to finalize his decision to run in the next week or two after consulting with family, said he wants to help make the 98th Assembly District a better place. Friends and others have been encouraging him to run for the office.

“I’d get to do what I am doing for 30 years – helping people,” Baumann said. “That will be my focus.”

Luke November 20, 2012 at 06:11 AM
Yeah, let's make Wisconsin more like Illinois.
Richard Rolling-Banks November 20, 2012 at 06:24 AM
You "Republicans" are all the same! Whatever happened to Republicans like Dwight D. Eisenhower?? Adam Neylon is just another businessman that wants to cut taxes. How's that working out for you? He's just like Scott Walker...an empty suite. Vote Prudent!!! Let's turn Waukesha County blue in 2013!!!
Luke November 20, 2012 at 08:16 AM
How are "lower" taxes working out for us, Richard? Let's see....... Illinois has recently increased their income taxes by 67% and they STILL have lower income tax rates than Wisconsin. Wisconsin has craptacular prospects for businesses. Our only hope is to have 20 more years of Scott Walker to eventually become a place that is anywhere near the top of the list.
Waukytalk November 20, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Any idea of how many employees the business has?
the 'sha guy November 20, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Let's see how that works for ya!
Jack B November 20, 2012 at 01:58 PM
I have met Mr. Neylon and I have never heard anyone say a bad thing about him. He's a dedicated worker and I look forward to his representation in Madison...keep working Adam!! You have Waukesha's support.
Keith Best November 20, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Prudent says he was motivated by the public union workers protesting in Madison. We all know about the backlash that created. Since Wisconsin has already saved over $2 Billion dollars due to ACT 10 working, Prudent has a long road to hoe. Neylon will be a great representative for the 98th. And GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER is going nowhere.
Atron November 20, 2012 at 03:33 PM
We need someone who isn't in politics and has real world experience. We are tired of the double and triple dippers and the going along to get along types. And of course, its the same old song ... lower taxes, more jobs, better schools, etc... All these past "officials" have promised the same things year after year, and nothing changes or happens except higher taxes and more regulation. We need some real candidates instead of a bunch of retreads.
Waukytalk November 20, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Rumor has it that there are one or two conservative women that are thinking about running.
Sarah Millard (Editor) November 20, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Waukytalk, just updated the story to show that one is considering a run.
kyle November 20, 2012 at 09:44 PM
I support Adam Neylon! He is a Bright, well-rounded young man that will guide us in the direction needed.
Mark D Stevenson November 20, 2012 at 11:40 PM
We need more people who aren't career politicos. Adam Neylon is a solid person, I know I've met and talked with him many times whilst being involved with the GOP, but we need people who have experience in the private sector. I haven't met Matt Morzy yet, but the aspect that his prior job experience would say it relied on being able to gauge the economic flow and trends is something that is a gaping hole in a wide array of knowledge bases the party is solidly set in. I'd like to see people who know what helps growth actually happen and be sustained rather than crafting the best policies to get elected. It could, and might even likely be that Adam Neylon is the best person for doing so that are running at the moment, but I'd urge people to hear out Morzy as well as not quashing any other possible candidates from running by lauding support behind one candidate as soon as the race starts. It's not good to declare someone the best person for an office not even two weeks after it's race began.
Mike ly November 21, 2012 at 01:27 AM
I think Jeanne would be a far better candidate than neylon. Hopefully she runs. Neylon should name some legislation that he worked on...
J D November 21, 2012 at 02:21 AM
I'm all for hearing this Morzy guy out, I know nothing about him. But Jeanne Tarantino!?!? HAHAHA! Are you kidding me? Did you even read her press release? "Tarantino said she is running 'to restore fiscal sanity to our state budget" Umm... Earth to Jeanne, Gov. Walker just BALANCED THE BUDGET and added money into the rainy day fund. Did you wake up one day and think you're still living in 2010? Come on... she's not a serious candidate.
Jeff Christensen November 24, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Why would anyone listen to Keith Best? He's publicly stated that America "used to be the greatest country in the world." http://waukesha.patch.com/articles/residents-petition-white-house-for-wisconsin-to-secede-from-us#comments
Jana November 25, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Jeanne is a candidate representative of the typical WI resident. Her political experience has given her valuable perspective of the needs in government for people who experience the effects of political decisions. Her experience in growing a local business, and the needs of small business owners make her an ideal influence in government. Her concern for families and the future for the next generation speaks volumes. She is a woman of integrity with the determination and drive to get things done! She will be a strong voice for people in WI.
Mary November 25, 2012 at 02:35 AM
I hope Jeanne Tarantino gets into the race because not only is she the most experienced candidate, but she would represent a demographic that clearly had a huge influence in this past election. We need strong female conservative voices now more than ever if we are going to persuade long term the female vote. Jeanne has real life experience in both the private sector and in different facets of National and State government. As a working mother of three, she understands what families are up against in a weak economy, and she will work not just tirelessly for her family but will also do the same for her constituents. This is a time for experienced leadership in Madison, and not a time for inexperienced staffers to get in the race. Jeanne's work ethic, character, and common sense approach to real life issues is what the 98th District needs to send to Madison. She is a really a great candidate!
@WI4Palin November 25, 2012 at 05:08 PM
If I lived in this district I would encourage Jeanne Tarantino to run. She can win and I know has the work ethic to represent her constituents with dynamic representation. Jeanne also has impeccable ethics. Jeanne's experience and family values make her the ideal candidate for this seat. I encourage everyone in this district to volunteer for Jeanne and donate to her future candidacy that I pray she choses to pursue. Take the time to get to know Jeanne, you will then agree with me that she is a special Lady who is ideally suited to represent you at this time when we need a voice in Madison to fight for JOBS!!
@WI4Palin November 25, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Agree 100%
@WI4Palin November 25, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Well said.
Jan Young November 26, 2012 at 02:30 AM
I agree with the last post - if I lived in this district, Jeanne would get my vote. She has the leadership, the integrity, moral character and hard work ethic our state needs. Her conservative principles, and passion for helping the people of our state is what we need to keep Wisconsin moving in the right direction. She has the experience (having worked for our Lt. Gov., Rebecca Kleefisch) to hit the ground running. I have the utmost confidence in her ability to do what is best to bring jobs to our state, work to lower taxes, and represent all Wisconsin citizens to a brighter future.
Michelle Allen November 26, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Jeanne Tarantino knows Waukesha and has experience, integrity and heart. She is a people person, attentive listener and full of energy and action
Diana November 26, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Jeanne would definitely have my vote. I have known her for a long time and she has an inner strength and drive that is very admirable. I have no doubt she would work extremely hard to represent our best interests and keep our state moving in a positive direction.
Lady fw November 27, 2012 at 12:21 AM
I am quite certain Jeanne is aware of the path Governor Walker has put us on, given she is the Chief of Staff for the Lt. Gov. She has also traveled the state attending Small business forums in addition to owning and growing her own small business. Not to mention the fact she is a working mother of three who has an outstanding reputation in the public and private sector. From what I heard Mr. Neylon is selling himself as a top policy advisor at the Capitol, while he is a staffer, I would leave it at that.
Lynn November 27, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Jeanne would have my vote. Not only does her past/present government work experience make her an outstanding candidate for this position: her strong communication skills would be a positive voice for us all. I have never met anyone who works as hard as Jeanne. She works until the job is done. She is a compassionate, intelligent woman and this is demonstrated in all aspects of her life. She would be an asset to everyone she would represent!
wivalleygirl November 27, 2012 at 04:12 AM
The only political difference between Waukesha and Sheboygan is that several of our great state's current leadership has deep roots embedded there in Waukesha instead of here in beautiful suburban Sheboygan. But they would be re-miss to overlook Jeanne Tarantino as an upcoming solid can-do candidate for the 98th District who's already been walking the walk while the others merely talk the talk of empty promises and last year's issues. Jeanne can think and act clearly while leading the way on current issues that effect the not only the local citizens but the state as well. What really separates her from the other candidates is her 'kitchen table common sense' of Conservative values and principles along with her wealth of experience. She is an asset to the people of Waukesha and a great credit to our state. I woud urge you to support and assist Jeanne Tarantino for State Assembly.
Yolanda Medina November 27, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I think we need a women in this seat and if she chooses to run, I will assist her in every way I can.
Jackie Goldbaum November 28, 2012 at 10:54 PM
JG I am not sure I have the capacity to fully encapsulate all that a woman like Jeanne Tarantino could offer the state Assembly and the 98th districts constituents. I have know this woman a very long time and have encountered few people with the degree of integrity and compassion that Jeanne brings to the table. There is no pretense of "ego" in terms of this woman, and has only the best interest of the people of Waukesha guiding her. Jeanne has heart, compassion, and a non-ending drive to do what is right for those around her! This would easily be expanded to the people of Waukesha as a whole. I support Jeanne in this race and would feel great honor in doing so.
Mark D Stevenson November 29, 2012 at 11:55 PM
It's plainly obvious that Jeanne Tarantino and/or her surrogates are aware of this web article and are trying to drum up support for her candidacy by drowning out other commentaries. Regardless, if she IS the best candidate, I know some people in the 98th I will encourage to support her, however, being a STAFFER of a solid/exemplary Lt. Governor makes no rational case for the STAFFER themselves being the best person for a legislative seat. The press releases' outdated platitudes speak volumes to me that as of now, she's not my top two preferred to see win this seat at the moment. When I see specific things shes done other than be a staffer and merely living within the district I'll take it to consideration. I am wary of people who run for office on the basis of government officials they worked for. As of now she's the #3 candidate in my book. As the ever so eloquent Charles Barkley once said, "I may be wrong, but I doubt it."
Steve ® November 30, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Why would anyone listen to Jeff? He was caught defending lies and propaganda. http://menomoneefalls.patch.com/articles/rep-don-pridmore-may-enter-race-for-state-superintendent

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