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Meet Jean

 

Wisconsin Born and Bred

I was born in Eau Claire and was placed into foster care when I was two weeks old.  I was fortunate to be adopted by great parents at the age of two and grew up in the Northwoods, on a beautiful lake, in the lodge of an old resort that my parents bought when I was in elementary school.  I always say I grew up in a bit of a construction zone because it felt like there were always projects and renovations happening.  I remember helping my parents tear out old tile, re-shingle the roof, build a new deck, paint, stain, weed, mow, and plant.

My first job was at a resort down the road where I road my bike to buss tables, waitress, clean rooms, and babysit for guests.  I even did the odd bit of cooking in the coffee shop in the mornings.  I've always enjoyed the outdoors and spent countless hours growing up exploring the local woods.  My parents, a therapist and a juvenile corrections administrator, raised me to be a strong woman; hardworking, caring, nonjudgmental, and empathetic, to think for myself, and to believe in the inherent worth of all people.  I attended UW-Oshkosh where I received a BA in History.

After obtaining my undergraduate degree I finished three years in the restaurant industry, was blessed with the birth of my daughter, Claire, and first entered the real estate industry as a property manager in southeastern Wisconsin.  Here I met the man who would be my husband.  Dan and I became friends and realized that we were two peas in a pod, despite our apparent differences.  As I am a moderate independent, he had concerns that his conservative background would make for strife in a relationship (the discussion we had regarding our differences is actually a pretty funny story!).  I'm not one to give up easily, however, and after much frank communication about our beliefs, he came to understand that two people with differences can have mutual respect and understanding and use those differences to grow in themselves.  We were married in May of 2014 and our blended family has known much happiness and laughter since.

We relocated to the area in 2016 after I got a job managing a new affordable housing community in Wisconsin Dells.  I'd been in property management for four years and had experienced many different types of housing communities, but what really changed the game for me was working in affordable housing.  It's no secret that we have an affordable housing crisis, and I was able to see first hand the positive effects quality, stable housing has on individuals and the community.  I was fortunate to be able to grow my career and manage a large portfolio of affordable housing communities throughout Wisconsin.  My husband and I also started our own real estate business where he works full time.

I love this community and am passionate about bolstering small businesses and tourism in our district, repairing our crumbling roads, supporting our local agricultural industries, working across party lines, and of course, the availability of affordable workforce housing in the mainly rural areas that comprise our district. 

Over the years, I’ve watched as our political representation has become more partisan and disrupted.  We put so many labels on people; whether they are liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican.  Talking to members of our district, we all agree that politics is the problem, not the solution.  What we need is someone who can think independently.  Someone who doesn’t want to play party politics but wants to represent the people of our district in a way that effects positive change for all. 

I thought long and hard about whether to declare with a party, but I’m not willing to toe a party line.  I am strong willed and strong minded, and I don’t give up.  I believe in standing up for what is right, even when it’s hard, even if you are the only one standing.  I believe that our representatives should be just that – representatives of the people who elected them.  That is why I am running.  Because I believe that I can listen to all the people in our district, no matter their political affiliation, and be the best representative for the people.  

Outside of my professional life, I love hiking with my family at our beautiful state parks, reading, helping my daughter with Girl Scouts and dance, going to local car shows to watch my husband drool over the old Chevys, and working on improving our home outside of Wisconsin Dells. 

I'm passionate, kind of nerdy, and slightly awkward, but I pride myself on my work ethic, integrity, and ability to build bridges and work with people across the spectrum.  Thank you for getting to know me and my passion for representing the people, not political parties.

 


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