I am a retired Wisconsin Rapids public school teacher, where I taught middle school German for 38 years, until 2009. I was born in Illinois, but my family moved to the Northwoods of Wisconsin, and I graduated high school in Eagle River. I then received my BA from Northland College, in Ashland. My wife, Barbara, and I have lived in Wisconsin Rapids since 1974, where we raised our daughter and son.
I have worked with the Wood County Democratic Party since the days of Act 10, in various capacities and on some campaigns. My recent work with our local party includes serving on the Executive Committee and developing the Mobile Office project during the last election cycle.
I joined the Girl Scouts when I was 7 years old and was active in that organization for over 25 years. All of my values and ethics are built on the foundation of service to country and other people formed in those Scouting years. And that is why I am a lifelong Democrat.
The first time I volunteered for a campaign was for Tony Earl’s run for governor. My campaign involvement grew over the years, until I was recruited to be the canvass station captain here in Rapids for Hillary’s campaign. The loss to Trump was devastating, so a few days later I became a bona fide dues paying member of the party.
While my knees don’t let me go door-to-door anymore, my biggest value to the party is 50+ years experience designing and staffing booths at community events. I sold tooled leather, and medieval equipment at music festivals, dog shows, and medieval re-enactor events and love applying that experience to our Wood County booths.
I grew up in rural Wisconsin and, like most kids at the time that lived in rural areas, I belonged to 4H. In 4H you learn and work toward having a head with clearer thinking, which means education; and having a heart for greater loyalty, which means your responsibility in living in a democracy and as a citizen of the world; we learned to have hands for larger service, which means helping those in need; and finally health for better living, which means self-care and having a healthy environment to live in. All of these are values that Democrats put into policy to improve our society.
I also grew up Catholic. Catholic social teaching taught me that we are to respect the entire spectrum of life, from birth to death and anything less falls short of what God asks of us. That means we to are respect all people at all stages of life without judgment, as Jesus did. It means respect for God’s creation, because you can’t love your neighbor as yourself, if you are destroying the planet that is supporting you, your neighbor, and the rest of creation. These, too, are values of Democrats, and that is why I joined.
Kathleen Rulka Co-Chair
I have been in Marshfield since 2007. I am a Marriage & Family Therapist and Clinical Chaplain and spent my professional career caring for patients and families in End of Life Care. I am also an artist with clay and glass as my media. I enjoy creating opportunities for people to come together to create public art displays. I became more active in politics when my husband, Brian Ewert, ran for 7th Congressional District in 2018. Since then, I ran as a write-in candidate for the 69th Assembly seat, and then, in 2020, was elected Co-Chair of the Wood County Democratic Party, beginning January 1, 2021. I love networking with people and organizing for change. If you want to volunteer for the Wood County Democratic Party, there are many ways we can use your gifts and talents!
I live on a farm near Auburndale with my husband, Frank, two horses, one dog, and two cats. I am a retired music teacher, who loves teaching toddlers at the Chestnut Center for the Arts. Frank and I enjoy performing with our country band, “West of the River”, in Junction City. I’ve been active in the WCDP for several years, and I like working behind the scenes organizing groups and events. Socializing with progressive friends for informal coffee in Marshfield every other Tuesday morning keeps me informed and connected.
I am the Delegate at Large for the Wood Co. Democrats. I was a nurse for over fifty years, with 41 years at St. Joseph’s here in Marshfield. I was in charge of our TLC program for ten years, which is a program to help parents whose baby has died. I’ve been involved with the Democratic Party since Scott Walker was doing his best to tear down our teachers. My husband, who is also very involved in the party, and I have five children, 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
I was always involved in hospital committees, but since retiring, I have volunteered in Peds at the hospital, and now do the Nuclear Med waiting room on Wednesday afternoons. I also have been watching the babies at North Ridge Church for their “mom’s” meetings for many years. I am also a Board Member of Partners of Marshfield Medical Center, organizing membership and hours. My hope is to bring democracy and hope for all the people of our country.
I have retired here in Marshfield after living in a number of both large and small cities. My wife and I are active in our church and love to take long walks around Marshfield as well as help our busy daughter and her children. I was very involved with local community issues in Detroit, Michigan, and hope to bring some of that background to bear on our local issues. I read the biographies of U.S Presidents as a hobby.
I retired from a 25-plus-year practice as a CPA and Certified Financial Planner in Marshfield. My work life also included teaching economics and accounting at the local UW campus. As an active community volunteer, I am a past president of the Marshfield Rotary Club, Main Street Marshfield, and Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I also served on the City of Marshfield’s 2021 Redistricting Committee.
I have a particular interest in issues impacting voting rights, equity, local farmers and the environment, and I currently serve on the Board of Directors of McMillan Warner Mutual Insurance Company, a Wisconsin farm mutual insurance company based in Marshfield. My husband of 37 years, Don Beyer, and I live in Marshfield, and we have two grown sons and two granddaughters.
Douglas La Follette
Secretary of State
Congressman, 3rd Congressional District