Looking Ahead to Next Fall

By Kenneth D. Thompson, WBA Board chair, president and CEO of Capitol Bank, Madison

As the leaves change color and there’s no denying that fall is here, many of us find ourselves asking, “where did summer go?” The feeling of fall sneaking up on us out of nowhere is something we want to avoid next year, with 2022 being an important election year. Let’s take a moment to look ahead and see what we need to track and prepare for now.

Important Fall 2022 races include the Wisconsin governor, attorney general, and state legislative seats. Democratic Governor Tony Evers will be looking to repel a challenge from likely GOP nominee and former Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who just announced her candidacy. All ninety-nine members of the State Assembly are up for election/reelection, as are odd-numbered State Senate districts. Republicans hold solid majorities in both houses, but the drama will surely be dialed up next year since legislators will all be running in districts with updated boundaries.

At the federal level, elections will be held for Wisconsin’s seats in the House of Representatives as well as for Ron Johnson’s Senate seat (Johnson has not yet stated whether he will run for re-election). Nearly a dozen Democratic candidates have formally announced their intention to seek the nomination to either take on Johnson, or a new GOP candidate. As Democrats try to maintain their slim majority in the House, many eyes will be on Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, where longtime Democrat incumbent Ron Kind recently opted not to seek reelection. WBA’s political action funds are important to ensure that candidates who understand and support Wisconsin’s banking industry are elected to office.

As always, WBA is not “R” for Republican or “D” for Democrat — rather, “B” for Banker. We back candidates, regardless of which side of the aisle they sit on, who will enact policies that support WBA’s mission to promote a healthy environment for Wisconsin banks to thrive.

So far, our peer organizations have been active in raising funds. Year-to-date contributions toward political action committees at the last required reporting on June 30 totaled $26,000 for the Wisconsin REALTORS Association, $20,000 for the Wisconsin Hospitals Association, and $18,000 for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin. This compares to WBA’s Wisbankpac fundraising of about $56,000 so far this year.

Your support is needed. The more each of us contributes, the more we can grow the slice of pie for our industry. Please visit www.wisbank.com/advocacy to learn more and make your contribution.