Four candidates running for 77th Assembly District in Madison


MADISON, Wis. - Four candidates have stepped up to represent Wisconsin's 77th Assembly District.

Rep. Terese Berceau (D-Madison) announced earlier this year that she would not seek reelection. Four Democratic candidates will be on the ballot Tuesday vying for her seat.

Sheila Stubbs has been a Dane County supervisor for 13 years and is a special education teacher. She believes her ability to write policy well separates her from her opponents.

"My top issue is education -- funding education for our K-12 schools and our UW system," Stubbs said.

Shabnam Lotfi has been an immigration attorney since 2011. She owns Lotfi Legal in downtown Madison. She believes that after having studied the legal system extensively, she would be able to draft legislation well.

"The most important issue for me personally is fair maps. I believe that gerrymandering is an attack on our democracy," Lotfi said.

Mark Garthwaite is the executive director of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild and a former biology research specialist at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He said as a science professional, he could bring something unique to the Capitol.

When asked which issues are his top priority, Garthwaite said, "Talking to voters, health insurance and access to health insurance is definitely top of (my) mind."

John Imes is the executive director of the Wisconsin Environmental Initiative and a trustee for the Village of Shorewood Hills. He named the environment, transportation and education as his top priorities.

"The state used to fund the university in the mid 30s, 40-45 percent range. Now, we're down in the low teens," Imes said.