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Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008

Sandra Pasch Is the Best Choice on the North Shore

Assembly Endorsement

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The 22nd Assembly District, which encompasses the North Shore suburbs and some of Milwaukee, is fortunate to have the choice of four top-notch candidates to represent them in the next legislative session. But one candidate stands out from the rest. The Shepherd Express strongly endorses Sandra Pasch for the 22nd District.

Pasch, a nurse and assistant professor at Columbia College of Nursing, is a tireless advocate for those who are marginalized and misunderstood: the mentally ill. Pasch is a founding member of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force and established the Crisis Intervention Team program in Milwaukee, which has trained more than 300 members of law enforcement to deal with those in a crisis situation due to mental illness. This has earned Pasch respect not only from the health care community and families of the mentally ill, but from law enforcement as well. It’s this sort of innova tive thinking and compassion that will make Pasch an effective progressive legislator in Madison.

Pasch’s background in health care makes her a fitting successor to state Rep. Sheldon Wasserman, who is now running for state Senate. The combined expertise of Wasserman, an OB/GYN, and Pasch is much needed in the Legislature, where the most critical issue in the next legislative session will be health care reform. Even as a first-term legislator, Pasch can play a key role in help ing to craft the health care legislation since she understands it from the inside and is truly concerned with its impact on consumers.

We also admire Pasch for her fighting spirit. When she slipped on ice and fractured her pelvis while knocking on doors campaigning earlier this year, she didn’t quit. While still in a wheelchair, Pasch enlisted volunteers and kids who needed summer jobs to help her canvass the district. A less-determined candidate would have called it quits, but Pasch never consid ered that an option.

While we feel that Pasch is the best choice for the 22nd District, her three Democratic challengers are also well qualified. Andy Feldman has shown a lot of enthusiasm for public policy and he has a bright future ahead of him. Guy Johnson has served Shorewood as village president very well, and his ideas about the realities of the state budget, mass transit and environmental protection are progressive and pragmatic. Dan Kohl has a strong background in business and educational reform, and he’s to be commended for wanting to give back to the community by serving the public as a legislator. But we feel that Pasch is the best choice for the 22nd District.