YUBA, WISCONSIN: Shaun Murphy-Lopez has announced his campaign for Wisconsin Assembly, District 49, which includes all of Grant and portions of Richland, Lafayette, and Iowa counties. It stretches from the Illinois border to the Village of Yuba on the northern edge.

Shaun made his declaration to run under the Democratic Party ticket before Village Clerk Katie McCollam. He chose Yuba to declare his candidacy because it represents the pride and hope he feels for rural Wisconsin.

“I am proud to live outside the second smallest incorporated village in the state. This is a close-knit community that takes care of its residents with a high-quality life, including a Fire/EMS Department, water/sewer, and trash/recycling services. The village is a beloved gathering spot for the surrounding rural area, with two taverns and a community center.”

Shaun is hopeful rural communities like Yuba can grow again – reversing decades of losses in farms, school enrollment, and population.

“I’m running for the state legislature because current legislators aren’t helping us solve our depopulation problem. Rural areas across our district need a level playing field to thrive. In Madison, I’m going to fight for the hardworking rural person, whether they are a small farmer, senior citizen, or young parent.”

Shaun understands rural challenges because his parents owned a cattle and hog operation, which they lost to bankruptcy in the 1980’s farm crisis. The resulting financial setback led to his parents’ divorce, leaving Shaun to be raised by a single mother.

“My early experiences led me to understand rural people must fight to preserve their way of life. The state legislature should be helping us with that fight. For example, they could give tax credits to working and retired people who invest in rural communities with declining populations. Instead, they seem to be more focused on giving tax credits to wealthy investors.”

Shaun and his husband moved to rural Richland County in 2014, attracted by the diversity of small farms. They have been foster parents and small-scale pig farmers, and are operators of the Yuba State Bank Apartments. They are also restoring their century-old farmhouse. Shaun works as a transportation planner and Richland County Board Supervisor.

“My plan is to listen to residents of the 49th District over the next six months, and then represent their concerns in Madison. I will ensure we have a respectful relationship, even after the election. Also, unlike my opponent, I will not accept contributions from corporate PAC’s (Political Action Committees). We need to have a laser focus on rural people, not executives at Wal-Mart and Microsoft.” says Murphy-Lopez.

He concluded, “Let’s channel some positive energy into the capitol on behalf of hardworking, rural people. On Election Day in November, we’re going to begin revitalizing rural Wisconsin.”

Residents can make plans to vote in the election by requesting absentee ballots from www.myvote.wi.gov, or by contacting their local town, village, or city clerk.

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