REALTORS® Running in Two Special Elections

 Joe Murray  |    February 15, 2021

On April 6, 2021, voters in two state legislative districts will go to the polls to elect their next state legislator. Both districts have a current member of the WRA running to fill these vacant seats.

Current state Rep. and REALTOR® John Jagler (R-Watertown) is running for the vacant state Senate District 13 seat, and REALTOR® Mike Kunesh from Marinette is running for Assembly in the open Assembly District 89. Both candidates have been unanimously endorsed by the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC). The primary election for both districts will take place on February 16, and the general election on April 6.

Both Jagler and Kunesh are running to fill seats that were vacated by longtime incumbents who resigned. Former GOP state Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) left after being elected to Congress in November, and former state Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) left to take a job in the private sector. Here’s more background on both candidates.

John Jagler, Senate District 13

Jagler was first elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 2012, with the full support of RPAC and the WRA. For the last six years, Jagler has chaired the Assembly Housing and Real Estate Committee. During his eight years in the Assembly, Rep. Jagler has maintained a perfect 100% voting record on WRA issues.

In this race, Jagler must compete in a four-way GOP primary election. If he prevails in the February 16 primary, he will face one Democrat opponent and two third-party candidates in the April 6 general election. As the only candidate running who currently holds public office, Jagler is considered by many the front-runner. His strongest opponent, however, is former state Rep. Don Pridemore who served in the Assembly from 2005 to 2014.

Mike Kunesh, Assembly District 89

Marinette native Kunesh has been a licensed real estate agent since 1991 and has owned Place Perfect Realty in Marinette since 1999.

Kunesh has a long history of public service to the REALTOR® organization. He has sat on the boards of the National Association of REALTORS®, the WRA, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Town of Peshtigo Plan Commission and other charitable organizations. Along the way, Kunesh also found the time to serve as the local board president of the REALTORS® Association of Northeast Wisconsin.

When the RPAC trustees and the WRA endorsed Kunesh for Assembly, WRA Executive Vice President Tom Larson stated, “As a REALTOR®, Mike Kunesh knows just what it takes to hold the line on property taxes in the state Assembly. He has been a strong voice for fairness while working in his community and is now taking the next step in public service for his family, friends and neighbors. We applaud his goal of being a solutions-driven legislator and are proud to endorse him for the recently vacated 89th Assembly District.”

For all members of the WRA who live in Senate District 13 and Assembly District 89, we urge you to vote in the February 16 primary election and the April 6 general election. A vote for John Jagler and Mike Kunesh will be a vote to protect property rights, lower property taxes, expand broadband service, and a desperately needed solution for Wisconsin’s workforce housing shortage. Your vote will make a major difference.

Joe Murray is Director of Political and Governmental Affairs for the WRA.

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