Tricia Zunker
Tricia Zunker
Candidates Tricia Zunker and Lawrence Dale will face off in the Democratic primary election for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District on Tuesday, Feb. 18, ahead of the district’s special general election on May 12. 
The special election was called to fill the vacancy left by Sean Duffy’s September 2019 resignation. 
As the first in her family to graduate from college, Zunker received a Bachelor of Arts in French, Political Science and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a Juris Doctor from the University of California Los Angeles School of Law.
In 2013, she was elected by the Ho-Chunk Nation to serve as associate justice of the Ho-Chunk Supreme Court. She was re-elected to that position in 2017.
Then, in 2018, Zunker was elected to the Wausau School Board where she currently serves as board president. From her office in Wausau, she also teaches remotely as a professor at three institutions.
Zunker said on her website that she is running for Congress “to be the voice of the people of northwest Wisconsin.”
Some of her top issues include health care, the Wisconsin farm crisis, campaign finance and criminal justice reform, the economy and infrastructure, and education and children.
Zunker said she believes that health care is a right, and that no one should die because they can’t go to a doctor, nor should people go bankrupt because they can’t afford their medication.
“I am in favor of Medicare for All for those who want it, and I support measures to increase health care coverage. I will also fight to protect coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.”
Zunker went on to say that she plans to take on Big Pharma to lower the cost of prescription drugs, defend a woman’s right to choose and to make her own health decisions, as well as legalize medical marijuana. She also emphasized the need to make mental health care accessible and support veterans by offering efficient, accessible medical services for them alongside Veterans Affairs reform.
As the president of the Wausau School Board, obviously education and children are pretty high up on Zunker’s hit list of topics.
“I am a first-generation college graduate. My Ho-Chunk grandma once told me, ‘Education is the one thing they can never take away from you,’ and she spoke from personal experience. We must adequately fund our public schools and make early childhood education a reality for all students,” she said. 
“Higher education must be made accessible and affordable. We need to begin to tackle the growing student debt crisis and to continue to encourage affordable community colleges and trade schools. We should also be promoting jobs in the skilled trades and technical field.”
Zunker also believes that children are entitled to a safe learning environment, both in school and in society in general. 
“As a mother and school board president, I see our students participate in active shooter drills,” Zunker said. “This is not the environment we want our students to be learning in. The epidemic of school shootings must end.
“We need common-sense gun legislation to protect our children. I fully support the Second Amendment —people should certainly be permitted to defend themselves in their homes and, of course, they should be permitted to hunt with appropriate firearms, but we need to keep guns out of the hands of people who will use them to hurt others. We have a duty to provide safe schools and safe communities for our children.”
Another of Zunker’s top priorities is taking on the current trade war which is hitting Wisconsin farmers hard and harming their livelihoods.
“As the granddaughter of a dairy farmer, I saw firsthand the hard work our family farmers do. I am a vocal supporter of our small family farms here in northern Wisconsin. Our rural communities are enduring hardship and stress at alarming rates. We must fight for them to have the support they need as well as fair, competitive markets and to enforce our trade agreements,” Zunker said.

Lawrence Dale
Lawrence Dale has lived and worked in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District since 2006. 
He received a bachelor’s degree in Government from Ohio University and a master’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from the University of Oregon’s College of Business.
He served in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Vietnam for a one-year tour before working in meat product sales and insurance sales.
Dale was a Green Party candidate for the 7th Congressional District in 2014 and a Democratic candidate for District 34 of the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2016.
Dale said he is a self-proclaimed FDR/Sanders Democrat. He spent time in 2016 as a Bernie Sanders delegate for Vilas County and a Green Party protest candidate for Congress against the Tom Tiffany-sponsored mining bill in 2014.
Following in the footsteps of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Dale thinks Medicare for All is a high priority for this country.
“The No. 1 cause of bankruptcies for Americans over age 50 is the inability to pay medical bills, especially after becoming seriously ill which is when more expensive medical measures need to be taken,” said Dale. 
“On a per capita basis, American expenditure for health care is double that of Canadians who have free health care. Medicare for All would also provide Long Term Care (LTC) coverage. To be eligible for LTC in Wisconsin, one has to go through the indignity of liquidating all their assets down to only $2,000 in order to be eligible for the Family Care LTC program.”
He supports both Warren’s and Sanders’ plans to fund Medicare for All, saying that both candidates offer ways to cover the cost of providing free medical care for all American citizens.
Dale said he also has crafted a Green New Deal for Wisconsin, which would explore the new multifaceted profit-making potential embodied in hemp production.
“Once elected, I will direct my staff to research federal, state, tribal and foundation sources to fund multiple commercially viable cooperative manufacturing ventures,” said Dale. He also plans to seek out the best high-demand and sustainable employment products derived from raw hemp, saying that, in Germany, manufacturers now use hemp pulp to fashion molding for auto interiors.
Dale is a firm believer that measures should be taken to stop corporate interference in the country’s elections, citing the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case Citizens United v. U.S. Federal Elections Commission concerning campaign finance by corporations. 
Other topics which Dale focuses on include the legalization of marijuana, in which he said he would also purge all felony records of those convicted exclusively of marijuana possession and distribution, and free universal prekindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds.