SUPERIOR — A superior school board member, community advocate and mother of two is running to be the first woman to represent the 73rd Assembly District.

Laura Gapske officially announced her candidacy for the seat on Thursday, April 21. She is running as a Democrat.

“I have always been involved in community efforts in Northwestern Wisconsin,” she said. “As a mother of two boys, I want to create a better future for them by doing hard work that will move our region forward.”

Superior’s wife said local leaders encouraged her to run for the seat after Rep. Nick Milroy, D-South Range, announced he would not be seeking re-election.

“I have always wanted to be more directly involved in public policy and my experience working with systems and policy development over the past 18 years will be advantageous in the fight to improve our community,” she said. declared.

Gapske, director of programs for Men As Peacemakers, said she has dedicated her life professionally and personally to ending violence against women and children.

“My entire career has been focused on improving community safety. It’s who I am in my heart. My life experiences and challenges have made me a stronger person by providing relevant life skills that a formal education cannot provide,” Gapske said.

A single mother, she understands the economic difficulties that many families face. She also has over 18 years of experience working for nonprofits that support some of the most vulnerable citizens in the community, including NorthStart Family Advocacy Center, Zero Abuse Project, First Witness Child Advocacy Center, and Domestic Abuse Intervention. Programs.

Gapske also owns LG Principles, LLC, an expert witness and consulting agency for professionals in the field of child abuse. She is the Chair of the Higher Working Group Commission on Human Trafficking.

She said her experience building coalitions, building connections and solving multidisciplinary community issues gives her the ability to tackle important public policy issues in Madison on behalf of the Northwest. of Wisconsin.

During her five years with the Superior School Board, Gapske served as Chair of the Policy and Rules Committee.

As a school board member, Gapske said she made it a point to read and respond to constituent emails.

“I appreciate feedback, constructive criticism or contributions from those I serve,” she said. “People are exhausted by politics. I don’t blame them. I do not seek to be a legislator representing the left or the right but a representative who will work on public policies that benefit the inhabitants of the district.

Some of the issues she would like to focus on in Madison include senior safety; children and families; increased resources for social workers; mental health accessibility; the financing of public schools; and expanding affordable Internet access in northwestern Wisconsin.

Northern Wisconsin is often overlooked in Madison, Gapske said, and she will work to build relationships across the state and on Capitol Hill.

Responding to Telegram’s request for comment via a Facebook message, Milroy said Gapske was a strong candidate.

“I have known Laura for over a decade as an incredible advocate for our community,” Milroy said. “Over the years, she has proven to be a dynamic and creative leader with a real passion for public policy. His knowledge of the criminal justice system and child and family rights advocacy would be a real asset to the position.

The incumbent MP said he expects several candidates to compete for the seat.

“I look forward to learning more about Laura’s platform and those of the other candidates before deciding whether to approve. We will have to see who else will enter the race,” he said. “Laura will definitely set the bar high.”