La CROSSE — Dem lt. gov. candidates say their past experiences qualify them to hold the state’s second-highest office, but their upbringings offer a stark contrast.

Dem Rep. Sara Rodriguez and CEO of The Hmong Institute Peng Her said their time representing community members in public office and working as business leaders qualify them. Though Her and Rodriguez have lived out much of their careers in Wisconsin, they were born and at least partially raised in different countries.

Her said his experience as a small business owner, father and organizing for community change qualify him for the job. He also said he would bring his lived experience to the Capitol.

“My family and I came to the United States after escaping from the jungles of Laos and enduring a refugee camp in Thailand,” he said.

Rodriguez, D-Oak Creek, said her experience as a state legislator, mother, nurse and small business owner qualify her.

“I’m a full time working mom,” she said. “If you want to get something done, you just give it to me. I’ll put it on my plate and I’ll make sure it gets done.”

They both said they would focus on protecting access to safe abortions, reducing gun violence and protecting the right to vote if elected.

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