08/06/18 – Kenosha News

If the condition of our roads is a topic of conversation occasionally at your dinner table, you’re not alone.

Eight Democrats running for governor and two for lieutenant governor, along with the Republican candidate challenging Gov. Scott Walker, say they hear about it when talking to voters and they experience it while getting there.

While health care and education are often the top two concerns, they hear about roads in the mix.

In interviews with the Kenosha News editorial board, they talked about Wisconsin’s deteriorating road conditions, the higher cost for vehicle repairs in this state, and what to do about roads and infrastructure.

Mike McCabe had driven 85,000 miles in his campaign at the time he met with us. “Everywhere we go, that’s the thing,” he said, noting that voters talk about high repair bills.

Mandela Barnes, lieutenant governor candidate, had the same comment — “Everywhere we go, that’s the thing” — in the board’s interview.

Kelda Roys had similar comments in a personal way. “I literally feel how bad the roads are,” she said during her visit.

The candidates discussed the need for dedicated funding and a long-term roads and infrastructure plan that includes improving high-speed internet across the state. Among the ideas shared were raising and indexing the gas tax and increasing user fees. Several also discussed forming regional transportation districts.

Looking ahead to the general election, the winning ticket for the Democrats will discuss roads with incumbent Gov. Scott Walker, who touts {in comments to our questionnaire) gaining federal funds for the ongoing I-94 work and investing $24 billion into the state’s transportation system compared to $21 billion over the same amount of time when Jim Doyle was governor.

“Looking ahead, I will never increase the gas tax without an equal or greater reduction in the overall tax burden,” he wrote. “We will continue to find new and innovative ways to make solid investments into our transportation infrastructure.”

It’s likely to be one of the sharp differences in approach, but how prominent will it be in a campaign to November that may focus mainly on education, health care and jobs?

We’ll see. In the meantime if roads are a top concern of yours, these candidates are talking about them.