Incumbent 34th Assembly District State Rep. Rob Swearingen, a Republican from Rhinelander, easily defeated challenger Chris Meier, a Democrat from Eagle River, in the midterm election Tuesday.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Swearingen won 61% to 38%. The vote totals were 19,698 for Swearingen and 12,097 for Meier.

The 34th Assembly District covers most of Vilas County (except Lac du Flambeau), most of Oneida County, the northern half of Forest County and all of Florence County.

Swearingen was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2012 and is currently serving his third term.

Swearingen, a supper club owner in Rhinelander, campaigned on his accomplishments as an assemblyman, especially when it comes to K-12 education, broadband expansion and tourism.

“I am extremely proud of our effort to invest a record amount in K-12 education and the fact that the 34th Assembly District has the most Fab Labs in the state, ensuring that our kids graduate with the real-world, marketable skills needed to succeed in the workforce of tomorrow,” he said.

“I am also proud that the 34th Assembly District has received more broadband expansion grants than any other district in the state. Reliable high-speed internet opens up endless opportunities for our businesses, schools and homes,” said Swearingen.

“We all know how large a role tourism plays in the North Woods, and it is extremely exciting to see that the tourism industry in Wisconsin has grown 40% since 2011, amounting to an outstanding $20.6 billion industry statewide. All of these initiatives are having real positive impacts on everyday hard-working Wisconsinites throughout our state and the North Woods,” said Swearingen. 

“As a small-business owner, I know what it takes to make a payroll. The last thing we should do now is turn back to the tried and failed policies of the past.”

A lifelong resident of Rhine­lander, Swearingen at­tended Rhinelander Catholic Central as a youth and is a 1981 graduate of Rhine­lander High School. Swearingen and his wife, Amy, have owned and operated The Al-Gen Dinner Club in Rhine­lander since 1993 and have just started their 25th year at the restaurant. 

Meier, a Wisconsin native and 25-year resident of Vilas County, graduated from UW-Milwaukee. He was a classroom teacher in the Phelps School District for 16 years and is an adjunct instructor at Nicolet College in Rhine­lander. Meier also holds certification from UW-Madison as a substance-abuse counselor. Meier is a U.S. Army veteran.  It was his first attempt as a political candidate.