CONTACT: Maria Langholz, (715) 209-6463

Working families champions to build progressive power for county; state residents

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin Working Families Party today announced their support for a slate of Milwaukee County incumbents and challengers who will bring progressive values to the Wisconsin Legislature to advocate for working families locally and statewide. The growing political organization is supporting Milwaukee County Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde for the open 16th Assembly district seat and Julie Henszey for the open seat in the 5th Senate District; endorsing Marisabel Cabrera in her challenge to Rep. Josh Zepnick for the 9th District Assembly seat; and standing with Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa in her re-election campaign for the 8th Assembly seat.

“With these endorsements, we’re bringing together a slate of candidates who will fight for broad based community change that benefits everyone,” said Marina Dimitrijevic, state director of Wisconsin Working Families Party. “For too long, Scott Walker and his legislative allies have created turmoil while raiding the state for the benefit of his donors and business interests. Like national WFP’s recent successes in the Maryland governor’s race with Ben Jealous and in the Georgia gubernatorial race with Stacey Abrams, we’re endorsing candidates before the Democratic primary who are strong, principled progressives like Supreme Moore Omokunde and Marisabel Cabrera. In November, when we elect these candidates and flip the 5th Senate District by electing Julie Henszey, we will have true champions who will fight for working families over corporate interests across the state.”

Tenth District Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde has served on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors since 2015. He’s the Chairman of the Health and Human Needs Committee, and a member of the Finance, Personnel, and Audit Committee. A former community organizer, Public Ally, and AmeriCorps leader, Supreme is committed to community service. He has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of formerly incarcerated people and to end mass incarceration.

“I am humbly seeking an opportunity to represent the 16th District of the Wisconsin State Assembly to make sure the needs of our community are heard and met in our state capitol,” said Supreme Moore Omokunde. “From dozens of candidates in Milwaukee to more recently Ben Jealous in Maryland to Stacey Abrams in Georgia—when Working Families Party stands behind true champions, they win. I am honored to have the Working Families Party endorsement and support in this important race and once elected, I look forward to continuing to vigorously serving my community in the state legislature.”

A former Iowa farm girl, Julie Henszey brought her young family to Wisconsin in 1995. She worked as a librarian and trainer for Marquette University for almost two decades before starting her own business. Working her whole life, Julie has also mopped floors in a neonatal ICU, tended soybean fields, and worked on a factory assembly line. An activist with Citizen Action, she serves on the co-op’s leadership team, pursuing an agenda to provide universal, affordable healthcare, including a Badgercare public option and limitations on drug prices.

“All across Wisconsin, families are working hard to get ahead. Together, we can find solutions to raise wages, create sustainable jobs, and provide a quality education for everyone in our state,” said Julie Henszey. “I want to thank the Working Families Party for their support and their effort in creating an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.”

Born and raised in Milwaukee’s Southside, Marisabel Cabrera is an immigration attorney who fights to keep families together and assist people in finding safety in the United States. Growing up, Marisabel’s family struggled to get by — often relying on the neighborhood church or local food bank for assistance. She is now a local entrepreneur and Vice Chair of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission where she works to strike a balance between providing the departments with the training and resources they need to keep our community safe while ensuring that transparency and accountability are not forgotten. She is challenging Rep. Josh Zepnick who was stripped of all of his committee assignments in late 2017 after he was accused of unwanted sexual advances.

“I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Wisconsin Working Families Party, and I look forward to standing up for our progressive values together by fighting for immigrant rights, healthcare for all, increased wages, and protecting our public schools,” said Marisabel Cabrera. “We need leaders in Madison who do more than talk the talk. I’m ready to walk the walk on day one.”

JoCasta Zamarripa has served as the representative in the 8th Assembly District since 2010 when she became the first Latina elected to the Wisconsin Legislature. Previously, she was a community outreach coordinator for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. In the Assembly, Zamarripa has been a leader on  supporting pro-immigrant policies, including promoting drivers’ cards, fighting against bills that would turn community police officers into immigration agents, and empowering cities and counties to be able to issue local IDs.

“I come from a family of workers and I carry with me a commitment to fighting for progressive policies that lift up underrepresented communities and level the playing field for all. I am so honored to have been endorsed by the Wisconsin Working Families Party.”

Unlike many political organizations, Wisconsin Working Families Party is making primary endorsements to ensure that the most progressive candidates are on the general election ballot to challenge Republicans and win. The Party will provide people power to the campaigns, mobilizing volunteers and members to put boots on the ground to educate voters.  

Wisconsin Working Families Party has already endorsed Sarah Godlewski to be State Treasurer of Wisconsin, Mandela Barnes to be Lieutenant Governor, and is leading the Wisconsin’s Choice campaign, which is engaging voters statewide in selecting and supporting the Democratic gubernatorial nominee. The organization recruited Randy Bryce to challenge Paul Ryan in the First Congressional District and has been key in electing progressive candidates in Racine and Milwaukee.

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