RACINE COUNTY, WI – House Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) won the 63rd State Assembly race against Joel Jacobsen, of Burlington, by a margin of 17 points.
Vos, who will now serve out four more years for his fourth term, earned 19,919 votes against Jacobsen’s 14,131 votes. The district includes most of Racine County, except for the City of Racine.
Viewing the win as recognition of his service, Vos believes voters saw through Jacobsen’s smear campaign. But it also reflects how voters feel about Democratic Governor Tony Evers’ response to the virus, he said.
“I view tonight’s election results as a complete repudiation of Governor Eavers’ governing style and his way to deal with the virus,” Vos said. “Potentially, we only have one or two Republicans that have lost in the legislature, even though they spent upwards of $50 million lying about our records. Right, so, you know, obviously, there was definitely a consistent.”
Now that the election is over, Vos intends to focus on reducing the number of COVID-19 cases. On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 5,722 additional cases. That brings the cumulative cases since the state started reporting them to 238,067. While the death rate has hovered at about 1 percent of cases, the hospitalization rate stands at 5 percent, which has overwhelmed the hospitals.
“This is a real challenge because the good news is we have an excellent healthcare system,” Vos said. And we have seen that the rate of deaths is considerably lower than in other states. We have really good health care. And the thing that frustrates me is that we should have been doing a better job testing to quarantine the sick and allow those of us who are not to live our lives and make sure that we can work in support economy.
“Seems like the governor’s answer is for everybody to quarantine. And that’s probably not possible over the long haul.”
For months, Vos has criticized Evers for mandating face coverings and shutting down businesses to slow the virus’s spread. State Republicans also filed a lawsuit and won against Evers’ safer at home order.
In a press briefing with Evers on Oct. 27, Evers said they have ramped up testing significantly, but he has been fighting an uphill battle. President Donald Trump downplayed COVID-19 at an in-person campaign rally in Janesville, where some people weren’t masks that “sends the wrong message.”
“So, if we want to do this right, and stop it in its tracks. People have to wear a freaking mask. Simple as that. And how can we convince people to do that? We need to have leaders, wearing them,” Evers said. “Please leaders, we need to send the message that wearing a mask is the most important part of the equation.”
But Vos says he has been encouraging people to follow all CDC guidelines, including wearing a mask. Now he wants to focus on working together with Evers’ administration.
“Where are the areas that we can work together to say, what can we do to make sure that the COVID virus, hopefully, is reduced in our state, and we have the ability to keep our economy going?”
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