Third District Alderman John Tate II has announced that he will run as a Democrat in a special election for the 66th District Assembly.

Tate, who has held his position as Alderman for about six months, works as a social worker for the Department of Children and Family Services in Kenosha County. He is the second candidate running as a Democrat to announce his bid for the seat, which will prompt a primary election.

“(A)s a lifelong Racine resident, I have seen first-hand the toll that shuttered factories and right-wing attacks have taken on our county. I will fight every day to bring family-supporting jobs to our neighbors and communities,” according to a press release by Tate.

Governor Scott Walker called for a special election to fill the 66th District Assembly seat after Cory Mason took over as mayor of the City of Racine and resigned his position as a state Representative. The election is slated to be held Jan. 16. A primary election would be held Dec. 19.

Tate has union ties

Tate took his aldermanic seat after winning the race on April 4 against Mike Shields 184 to 179, but only by five votes. After the recount, the votes totaled 186 to 182 in favor of Tate retaining the win.

In a statement released Monday morning, Tate said he understands the struggles families face in Racine. As a social worker and Alderman for the 3rd District, he sees the issues of his constituents through the eyes of his clients and constituents.

“We are at a pivotal moment in Racine’s history. With the promise of thousands of new jobs in Racine County, we urgently need an Assemblymember who knows firsthand the struggle that our families face,” he said.

A Racine native, Tate was raised in a union household, he said.

Because his parents earned a family-sustaining wage, it gave him the opportunity to graduate from Marquette University with a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology in 2007 and a Master’s Degree in social work from Loyola University in 2016.

Tate points to AB190, a bill that attempts to re-segregate public schools and said he would “fight these attacks passionately and effectively.” His platform also includes helping to fully fund and maintain the Racine Unified School District, support a living wage, and look for ways to reduce healthcare costs. He would also be an advocate for the federal Medicare expansion by expanding Badger Care.

Further, Tate criticized Walker’s and the Republicans’ leadership saying that their priorities were wrong from day one.

“We deserve a progressive voice at the State Capitol who will fight for a living wage, affordable and accessible healthcare, and quality public education for our children. We need to strengthen civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, and workers’ rights. This is why I’m running for the Assembly in the 66th District,” he said.

Neubauer and Tate to vie for seat in primary

Tate isn’t the only person to announce his bid for the 66th Assembly seat. Mason took office Tuesday night after being elected mayor in a special election held in October after the former mayor, John Dickert, left office. Greta Neubauer, of Racine, announced last week that she wants the job. Neubauer served as a legislative aide for Mason.

Read more about Neubauer.

Neubauer’s family isn’t a stranger to politics. She is the daughter of Jeff Neubauer, who represented the 62nd Assembly District for several terms from 1981 to 1988. Greta graduated from Middlebury College in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in history.

“Together we can enact a Green New Deal that provides living wage jobs and protects our environment. We can strengthen our public schools, which are critical to ensuring every person has the opportunity to live up to their potential,” Neubauer said.

Circulation of nomination papers for candidates began on Nov. 7. Nomination papers must be filed no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 21.

No other candidates have filed their nomination papers with the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.