MADISON – Democratic Rep. Marisabel Cabrera will face a challenger in the Aug. 11 primary for her seat in the state Assembly.
Cabrera, who was elected to the 9th Assembly District in 2018, is challenged by Christian Saldivar, a community youth counselor and administrator, to represent the district on Milwaukee’s south side.
The winner will face Republican Veronica Diaz in the Nov. 3 general election. Diaz does not face a primary challenger. She listed school choice, public safety and gun rights as issues she cares about.
Saldivar, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2018, in an interview stressed the importance of getting financial aid to individuals and businesses negatively impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19. He pointed out Potawatomi Hotel & Casino laid off about 1,600 workers and said he wants to create more job opportunities and job training programs on the south side.
“Access to jobs leads to healthy families and communities,” he said, noting he has been going door to door in the district to talk to residents about education, health care and criminal justice reform.
He added he is running because Cabrera “has treated this position as a part-time job,” noting that she still practices immigration law.
He also highlighted Cabrera was one of only two state legislators in April to vote against a bill aiming to help Wisconsinites deal with the economic impact of COVID-19.
Cabrera in an email said she voted against the bill because “it did not do all that was necessary” to help Wisconsinites and businesses impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19.
She listed shortcomings of the bill, including that it scaled back protections for first responders who are helping COVID-19 patients. She said he is speaking with colleagues to address these issues.
Cabrera dismissed Saldivar’s comments that she treats her position as a part-time job. She said she is still working immigration cases that were pending when she was elected and noted these cases sometimes take years to conclude.
She also pointed out Saldivar was defeated in the February primary for Milwaukee Common Council District 8, saying he “only suddenly became interested” in becoming a state representative.
Cabrera served on six committees, including the Committee on Small Business Development, and authored 10 bills during her two years in the Legislature.
She said she will continue to advocate for affordable health care, quality public education, strong worker protections and “public safety services that work for everyone.”