Debra Kolste - D
Remarks: Hi, I'm Deb Kolste and I'm running for the Wisconsin Assembly in the 44th District because Janesville needs a voice in Madison.
I am running for the same reasons I have been a volunteer and a leader in this community for more than 20 years. I want to serve and I know how to work with people to get things done.
I served as school board president and president of the hospital association of volunteers. I am on the YMCA board. I continue to volunteer at HealthNet, which provides medical care to the poor and uninsured.
I am the only candidate with business experience. I helped start and operate a successful medical clinic. I continue to run a family farm.
I want to help create jobs, and I know the answer isn't more giveaways to corporations. We need good schools and access to health care.
I believe that state government should operate in the open and that putting up barriers to voting is undemocratic.
I am asking Janesville to vote for me on November 6 because I am the best prepared candidate in the 44th Assembly District.
Bio: Deb Kolste has served the Janesville community since arriving nearly 20 years ago.
She served the Janesville PTA and PTO before running for the Janesville School Board. She served on the board for nine years, including as president. Kolste adapted the Mock Drunk Driving Exercise for Craig High School and directed it for two years. She volunteered at Mercy Hospital and served as the President of the Mercy Health System Association of Volunteers. She led thousands of children on tours of medical facilities for MercyKids. She is a past chairperson for MercyKids.
She has been active with the Janesville Literacy effort, particularly in the areas of fundraising and obtaining sponsors to offset the costs of the program.
Kolste has been a member of the Board of the YMCA of Northern Rock County for six years. She has been particularly active in the Friends of Youth program, securing funds so that children from low-income families can obtain scholarships for YMCA memberships.
She was among the founders of the Rock Futbol League, a youth soccer league in Janesville. She served on its first board of directors.
Kolste continues to volunteer for Rock County HealthNet, which provides medical care to low-income and uninsured residents of the county. Her husband Rex, a physician, is medical director at HealthNet.
Kolste worked for Mercy Health Systems as a medical technologist until taking a leave this spring to devote her time to running for the 44th District seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly.
She is a native of Nebraska, and was the 1971 co-valedictorian at Kimball County High School. She put herself through the University of Nebraska and holds a BS in Medical Technology. Kolste took courses toward a master's in business administration at Wichita State University before moving to Wisconsin. Her father was a union member who worked for Bell Telephone and her mother worked in retail.
Kolste has managed a family farm since 1984. She and her husband started and operated a successful small business, a medical clinic, in Colby before selling it and moving to Janesville.
The Kolstes have three adult children, all graduates of the Janesville Public School District.