Lothian retains 32nd Assembly seat

Schroeder about 1,200 votes shy

By Mike Heine/The Week

(Published Nov. 8, 2006, 12:38 p.m.)

Republican Thomas Lothian maintained control of his District 32 Assembly seat by defeating Democrat Ryan Schroeder for a third time.

Lothian said he ran again because there were some things left to get accomplished from his second term.

"I want to get to some of the regulations that are stopping or slowing down economic growth. Government has to start responding (faster)," he said.

He said his primary focus will be economic development and attracting new businesses.

"The way that we're going to get out of financial problems in the state is through expanding the economy," Lothian said. "As the economy grows, the of money that flows increases. The government will get their portion of that money flow. So economics and the economy are the solutions to a lot of our problems."

An offshoot to stimulating the economy is to provide employers with cheaper options for healthcare, he said.

"The healthcare system, as I see it, is a double-headed monster. It not only increases the costs of current employees who are productive, but also the after-employment costs for continuation of health insurance that many large companies are having trouble keeping up with," Lothian said.

There are two bills Lothian authored last session he wants to see passed. One outlaws using self-intoxication as an excuse for committing a crime. The other is to memorialize Highway 14, from the state line to Madison, as the Ronald Regan Memorial Highway and memorialized Highway 11, from Janesville to Racine, as the Harriet Tubman Memorial Highway.

Lothian, a former Williams Bay village trustee and Walworth County supervisors, has maintained the seat since its creation in 2002.

Over the three election years, Schroeder has slowly gained ground. In 2002, the Delavan alderman picked up 42 percent of the vote. In 2004 and this year he had about 46 percent.

"I think you're seeing the demographics changing in this area due to the developments in the area," Schroeder said.

He noted that he has outperformed typical Democrat support in Walworth County, which runs about 39-40 percent.

"The state (Democratic Party) has took a lot of notice in what we've done in the past and has helped with some of these resources," Schroeder said. "We brought a lot to this campaign as a Democrat. Things are more organized and the party itself is becoming more visible in the county."
The race became a little ugly at times with both candidates and several of their supporters taking shots at one another.

Lothian has criticized Schroeder's claim he is a middle-of-the-road candidate despite running as a Democrat, which he called an "oxymoron."

Schroeder has questioned Lothian's age and ability to get out and meet constituents during non-campaign times. Lothian is 77. Schroeder is 32.

Neither candidate would say if they plan to run again in 2008.

32nd Assembly District
Thomas Lothian (R-Williams Bay) 9,583
Ryan Schroeder (D-Delavan) 8,322





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