Retain Spreitzer in 45th Assembly

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Democrat works hard, understands issues, even if his party has no influence in Madison.

AFTER THE 2010 election, part of the gerrymandering intended to rig Wisconsin's election lines included packing as many Democrats as possible into the 45th Assembly District, currently represented by - Democrat, of course - Mark Spreitzer, a former Beloit City Council member and president.

Unsurprisingly, Spreitzer does not have a Republican challenger. That was part of the gerrymander plan - pack Democrats into as few as possible safe seats, and make sure there are more safe Republican seats drawn into other districts.

Spreitzer does, however, have opposition. Reese Wood of Beloit is running against Spreitzer as a Libertarian candidate.

It is not serious competition. Wood's one and only cause seems to be legalizing and taxing marijuana, with the money gained somehow paying to solve other problems like education funding and roads. Perhaps a case can be made at some point for legalizing weed, but Wood's candidacy falls woefully short of giving Spreitzer a run for the office.

SO, FOR THE RECORD, we do endorse Spreitzer for the Assembly post. He's a serious man with a strong understanding of the issues. He does his homework and he works hard in elected office. That has allowed him to rise within the Democratic Party, holding one of the leadership posts for the minority in the Assembly.

Now, that doesn't really amount to much in Madison these days. Majority Republicans treat Democrats like potted plants, so neither Spreitzer nor his colleagues exercise any kind of authority.

That's not really his fault. It's just how the votes - and the gerrymandering - have fallen since 2010.

Spreitzer, though, clearly does represent the majority of voters in his district. And, perhaps, one day Democrats will make a comeback in Madison and Spreitzer, by climbing the leadership ladder, will be in a better position to influence policy for Beloit's benefit.

If that happens we hope he starts with redistricting reform. Giving voters a real choice on Election Day would be a welcome change.

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