Dem Frostman touts economic development experience in 1st SD bid

Caleb Frostman

1st SD Dem Caleb Frostman says his record bolstering economic development — and his commitment to prioritizing that mission over partisanship — should earn him a ticket to Madison.

Frostman, 33 and the former executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corp., in a recent WisPolitics.com candidate interview pointed to his experiences helping start and grow small businesses, as well as aiding in workforce development.

“That mission of improving the economic vitality of the region and its residents is above partisan politics,” he said. “For me, my goal in the Senate is kind of the same: It’s to improve the quality of life of the people around me. And I’ve been able to do that in my work at DCED, and I want to do that for the folks of SD 1.”

Frostman will face either state Rep. André Jacque, R-De Pere, or Alex Renard, the operations manager at Green Bay’s Renco Machine Co., in next month’s general election with the winner taking a vacant northeastern Wisconsin seat once held by Republican Frank Lasee. The Jacque-Renard primary is Tuesday.

If elected, Frostman says the issues he’d be pushing for include: prioritizing infrastructure; “investing heavily” in public education, both K-12 and the UW System; and safeguarding natural resources.

On transportation funding, Frostman was noncommittal about whether he’d push for an increase in the gas tax, higher vehicle registration fees and tolling, saying “all options need to be on the table.”

“What I wouldn’t do is be an ideologue that says at the cost of new roads, we can’t increase taxes, can’t increase fees and I think a lot of that comes from perhaps posturing for the next job,’’ he said. “And frankly if I were doing that, if I was to posture for the next job, I would want to point to new roads, I would want to say say we found a bipartisan solution.’’

On other issues:

*Frostman backs changes to NR 151, a Department of Natural Resources administrative rule aimed at strengthening groundwater protections in eastern Wisconsin, saying it marks “a really good step in the right direction.”

The updated policies on manure spreading practices for 15 counties was approved unanimously by the seven-member Natural Resources Board in January. The rule changes include tweaks to further stipulate the conditions manure can be mechanically applied and guidelines governing the application of liquid manure.

*Frostman said he wouldn’t support legislation to ban the use of fetal tissue in research.

Calling the research performed “cutting edge,” he highlighted the importance of its use in helping to find cures for various diseases, as well as the jobs the state’s bioscience sector provides.

*Frostman said he wouldn’t support what proponents call “constitutional carry” should he get elected.

The bill, which would have allowed individuals to carry a concealed weapon without first obtaining a permit or going through training, passed the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, but did not receive a floor vote in either chamber.

Frostman said a written test, field test and certain amount of training “is highly appropriate for something like concealed carry.”

He also called concealed carry reciprocity, or the ability for those permits from other states to be recognized across state lines, “troubling.”

Frostman said legislators work to put “laws on the books that keep our citizens safe,” adding that the state should “decide what those rules should be for Wisconsin.”

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