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School board, legislative races draw attention in La Crosse area for Election Day

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How purple is the La Crosse area at election time?

The conclusion of the midterm voting Tuesday will decide whether Democrats hold onto some area seats they’ve had for many years.

The 3rd District race for US House is closely watched around the country, mainly because it’s for a seat being left open by retiring Democrat Ron Kind.

Derrick Van Orden wants to be the first Republican Congressman from the district in 26 years, facing Wisconsin state Sen. Brad Pfaff. If Van Orden wins, Pfaff still has another two years on his Senate term.

Two Democrats in the Assembly are defending their seats, with Steve Doyle challenged by Ryan Huebsch in the 94th District, and Jill Billings taking on Chris Woodard in the 95th.

All four took part in a WIZM election questionnaire, which can be read here.

Both Doyle and Billings have been in Madison since winning special elections in 2011.

Some very large school referendums are on La Crosse area ballots this election day. The La Crosse District tops the list across the state, asking for $194.7 million to finance a project to convert a Trane Company office building into a new high school.

The proposed south-side school would allow both Logan and Central high schools to be converted into middle schools.

Part of the reasoning for the consolidation is because of enrollment declines, as well as building maintenance.

The Onalaska school district is seeking $75 million on a Tuesday referendum, so renovations can be made at the middle school and high school. It’s also asking voters for an operating budget, which it has done periodically since 2006.

Holmen wants $75 million in funding, as well, for improvements at three schools in the district, while Bangor also is requesting $24 million to upgrade its school buildings.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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