MARINETTE, WI — Political newcomer Andi Rich announces primary challenge against long term incumbent for 89th Assembly seat.

The local environmental advocate believes the incumbent isn’t working for the people. Rich wants to upend the current Assemblyman’s status quo of prioritizing profit over health and safety.

“Clean water is not a partisan issue. Which political party doesn’t drink clean water?” Andi said, responding to criticism about running as a republican and an environmentalist. “I grew up hunting and fishing, and I can’t think of many things more ‘American’ than living off the land, sighting rifles, and spending quality time with your family. As a small business owner, I believe in self-determination rather than government handouts. The PFAS contamination threatens the area’s ability to produce non-contaminated food and water. If we are trying to promote self sufficiency, destroying our natural resources is a step in the wrong direction.”

The 89th Assembly district includes the 3rd largest known PFAS contamination site in the nation, and the worst contamination site in the state. The surrounding area is subject to high cancer rates and types of cancers that have been directly linked to PFAS exposure. Constituents of the 89th reached out to their elected officials starting in 2017, when the contamination started to become more widely known. Several bills were drafted to regulate these toxins, some even passed out of committee. None made it to the floor for a vote. Residents were left wondering why our representative wouldn’t fight for his own bill, why he wouldn’t join fellow legislators who voted to attach the bill to other legislation that would bring it to the floor. According to several of his constituents, the answer is that he won’t buck his Party Leadership, and he won’t buck the big money lobbyists that feed his campaign.

“Our current representative is allowing innocent Wisconsin families, farmers, hunters, and anglers, to become victims to various cancers and disease, property value loss, and well water contamination, while he writes legislation to also make them financially responsible for clean up,” Rich said. “We deserve better than that type of blatant disregard for hard working families in the 89th.”

Candidate Rich is focusing on ending corruption, spending tax dollars wisely, and protecting the environment. She has pledged not to take any campaign contributions from big business, to identify and cut the “pork” out of the bills that cater to lobbyist agendas, and to protect our valuable natural resources which bring hundreds of thousands of tourism industry revenue to our area annually. She will work across the aisle and focus on issues that benefit all Wisconsinites. “We need to put a stop to this partisan gridlock,” said Rich, “it isn’t what’s best for anybody.”

Rich was born and raised in Marinette County. After graduating from Marinette High School in 2001, she got her bachelors from Lakeland College. Rich graduated with honors, majoring in business administration and marketing. She obtained a Wisconsin General Contractor’s License so she could open her own construction company, and has recently shifted to insurance adjusting. The proposed Back 40 Metallic Sulfide Mine has put her company and property in jeopardy. Her passion for protecting the environment has lead to political involvement.

“It’s chilling to realize that these people who are supposed to be representing you don’t even care that the water is poisoned. Something is definitely broken within our political system, and I intend to fix it, starting in the 89th,” said Rich.

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