COLUMBUS — Republican Todd Menzel officially announced Monday he intends to run for the Wisconsin State Senate in the 13th Senate District in April.
The seat was held by Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, who won the 5th Congressional District seat in November.
This is a seat that Don Pridemore and John Jagler, both of Watertown, and Andrew Dickman, of Juneau — all Republicans — already are seeking.
A primary election could take place Feb. 16 if all, indeed, end up running. The general election is scheduled for April 6.
Nomination papers for the candidates are due by 5 p.m. Friday for this special election.
Other potential candidates for the seat include Spencer Zimmerman, of Janesville, who is running as an independent, describing himself as a “Trump Conservative”; and Benjamin Schmitz, of Sun Prairie, another independent, self-described as being from the “American Solidarity Party.”
So far, no Democrat has announced an intention to run.
Menzel, of Columbus, is a business owner with 20 years of leadership experience, serving as the chief executive officer for Menzel Enterprises, Inc., one of the largest transportation entities in the towing and recovery industry in the Midwest.
During this tenure, Menzel said, he has negotiated private, local government and state contracts. He also has served on the Wisconsin Towing Association Board of Directors.
“I have taken businesses that were once in a fragile state and made them successful,” Menzel said. “With our economy affected by COVID-19 and civil unrest, we are at a fragile and pivotal point where the government has not truly served our people. I am seeking the office of Wisconsin State Senator because I have real-life experience as an entrepreneur, rather than a longtime politician, to negotiate and bring common-sense solutions to our great state.”
Originally from Waupaca, Menzel’s family moved in 1982 to Sun Prairie, where his father, Gary Menzel, founded Prairie Land Service Center in 1984. Together, his parents worked to build a small family business.
Gary Menzel passed away at the age of 43 and Jeanne Menzel pressed on with her two boys, teaching them the importance of perseverance.
“I understand the struggles of Wisconsinites because I, too, have faced these same hurdles,” Menzel said. “Now, more than ever, we need strong leaders to reopen the economy and help small businesses that have been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to look at how large and small businesses are regulated to find a modern approach to these problems.
“More than anything, we need to bring our great nation and our people back to a time when we all felt safe, happy and in good health,” he added. “Common sense politics must return, and I intend to speak for the people.”
Menzel said his campaign will focus on several issues, including the economy, helping small businesses, workforce development, education, police training and transportation. He said he will continue to listen and learn about these issues to better serve the people.
Menzel and his wife, Christie, live in Columbus, where they are raising their three children: Zack, Breah and Derek.