Tanya Lohr, who has taught for 16 years at West Bend High School and is currently the chair of the Democratic Party of Washington County, has announced her candidacy for the 20th District Senate seat against incumbent Sen. Glenn Grothman.
Lohr is also a recent graduate of Emerge, a leadership training program for Democratic women interested in running for public office, according to a press release from the party. She is married to fellow teacher, Andy Kougl; their family also includes 6-year-old twins, as well as Kougl's two teenage daughters.
Lohr's candidacy comes on the heels of a — one that she was largely a part of organizing — as well as what has been coined a "war on women," as debates over contraception, equal pay and other issues have become highly politicized.
"I want to restore adequate funding for public education, respect for women, affordable family health care and strengthen our communities by empowering working people," said Lohr, who resides in the Town of West Bend. "The Republican agenda was imposed on Wisconsin working families and has polarized our state. It is time we corrected the imbalance."
Grothman was elected as senator in 2004, running unopposed, according to followthemoney.org. In 2008, he faced independent Clyde Winter, winning by a landslide with 80 percent of the vote. This means Lohr will be the first Democratic candidate he has faced since taking over the 20th District.
"I understand she's worked hard on campaigns in the past, I know she had a role in the recall … so I anticipate this being a very difficult race," Grothman told Patch.
Grothman is facing re-election also smack dab in the middle of this "war on women," after spending weeks in the national spotlight because of his proposed Senate Bill 507, which considers .
Grothman proposed the bill in March, and you can read more about his stance in a newsletter he published regarding his belief that the breakdown of the family is America's biggest problem.
But Grothman sides with other Republican politicians, such as Sen. John McCain. R-Arizona, who called the war on women "imaginary," according to the Huffington Post.
"There is no war on women, and it shows the desperation of the Democratic candidates that they have to make something up rather than deal with the real issues," Grothman said.
Made up or not, the idea that this attack on female rights may exist has some people wondering what influence that will have on the ballot list.
Columnists on The Washington Post wrote: "By our tally, 225 women ... have filed to run for the House of Representatives this election cycle, although 12 lost their primaries. Seventy more are considered candidates in states where filing is still ahead. That means we’re on track to beat the previous record of 262 female House candidates set in 2010."
Lohr was elected as the Washington County Democractic chair last fall. She is also the political action chair and a building representative for the West Bend Education Association.
Lohr is hoping the work she did to reach hundreds of volunteers during the recall efforts will be a boost for her campaign.
"We already have a committed volunteer corps who want to reverse the failed policies recently enacted by the GOP majorities and signed by Gov. Walker," Lohr said in a press release.
Lohr was not immediately available for comment as she was preparing for a ceremony to announce her candidacy at the Democratic Party office in West Bend.