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Meet The 2020 Wisconsin 5th Congressional District Candidates: Scott Fitzgerald And Tom Palzewicz

Courtesy of Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Palzewicz
(From left) Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Palzewicz will face off this November in Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District.

Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District spans from just west of Milwaukee through Waukesha County to Jefferson and Dodge counties. Two candidates are competing for the seat in the Nov. 3 election: Republican Scott Fitzgerald of Clyman and Democrat Tom Palzewicz of Brookfield. This seat is currently held by Jim Sensenbrenner, who was first elected in 2003 and decided not to run for reelection this year.

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To help you get to know more about the Wisconsin 5th Congressional District candidates, we sent them the same list of questions. After multiple requests, we did not hear back from Fitzgerald's campaign. Here are the responses we received:

Tom Palzewicz (D)

Credit Courtesy of Tom Palzewicz
Tom Palzewicz is running as a Democrat in Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District.

Tell voters a bit about yourself:

I believe in creating progress by representing everyone and restoring responsible leadership. Political integrity and combating corruption is central to my campaign. My time in the Navy prepares me for the servant leadership necessary to be successful. As a former banker, I worked with banks to manage their risk and have been a small business owner for 15 years, helping other small business owners grow their organizations. I know our economy and know how to create jobs from firsthand experience.

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Gun violence, rising health care costs, and climate change directly impact the people living in Waukesha, Milwaukee, Washington, Dodge, Jefferson, and Walworth counties. The federal government has a responsibility to American citizens to combat the imminent threat of climate change. We need comprehensive, common-sense background checks to keep our communities safe and to curb the epidemic of gun violence in Wisconsin and across our country. Amid a pandemic, it has become even more clear that health care should not be a privilege; it should be a right. A rich country shouldn't provide treatment just for rich people. This is not a partisan issue; this is a humanity issue.

How will you protect Wisconsinites from the coronavirus?

I will work to establish a comprehensive national plan to serve Wisconsin and the nation. This plan would emphasize testing and tracing, providing sufficient personal protection equipment (PPE), developing science-based treatments and vaccines, reopening safely and effectively, and protecting those at high risks, such as older Americans. This campaign is a firm believer in following the lead of scientific experts, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci. I will work to support the medical community in Wisconsin and be there to support the health needs of the 5th District.

How will you help businesses and people who are unemployed due to the pandemic? 

Our current COVID-19 crisis illustrates how crucial guaranteed emergency income is. As your Congressman, I will deliver funding that goes to the working people who are hit hardest. I advocate for creative financial solutions that serve small businesses and workers. We need to ensure that family farms receive the necessary financial assistance through this crisis. I'll fight for a real small business fund, which is appropriately vetted to ensure small businesses across all sectors get the help they deserve. I'll fight for more funding to Wisconsin, and local municipalities hit hard by falling revenue and rising costs. We should work for clarity as we reopen in a sensible, responsible fashion. Let's get back to work, but let's do it in a smart and safe way.

What actions will you take to address racial inequalities in Wisconsin?

The Black Lives Matter movement is long overdue. America is plagued with roots of racism that persist today, and we need to address that. I believe our problems will be remedied with education and structural change. We need our schools to emphasize diversity education, and I want to help build a path forward that includes everyone. I support training and community involvement within our police departments. I agree we need to maintain law and order, which is essential for a well-ordered society. An important goal is to encourage police and communities to work together. I plan to be part of the solution and help move us forward to a society that respects everyone.

Scott Fitzgerald (R)

Credit Courtesy of Scott Fitzgerald
Scott Fitzgerald is running as a Republican in Wisconsin's 5th congressional district.

Fitzgerald's campaign did not respond after multiple requests. We will update this piece if we hear back.

From 2020 to 2021, Jack was WUWM's digital intern and then digital producer.
Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.
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