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Moderate GOP state senator to face primary challenger

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UNDATED (WSAU)   The most moderate Republican in the Wisconsin Senate will have a primary challenger next year if he runs again. G-O-P Representative Howard Marklein of Spring Green said yesterday that he’ll run for Dale Schultz’s Senate seat 19 months from now. Marklein is in his second two-year term in the Assembly, while Schultz – a 30-year legislative veteran from Richland Center – says he won’t decide until this fall whether he’ll run again.

Schultz rankled hard-line Republicans by voting against the G-O-P’s mining incentive legislation two years in a row. He has also formed an alliance with veteran Senate Democrat Tim Cullen of Janesville, calling for an end to the divisiveness and polarization that’s been a hallmark in recent years in both Madison and Washington.

Marklein did not criticize Schultz in his Senate campaign announcement, but he did say he supported the mining bill. Marklein, an accountant, says he would keep trying to provide tools that help businesses grow. Schultz said he votes with Republicans almost 99-percent of the time – and he thought it was enough to avoid a primary challenge. Meanwhile the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Democrats believe they have a chance to win the seat if someone more conservative than Schultz goes on the ballot.

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