Climate Crisis Town Hall

Climate change is a problem for the entire state of Wisconsin. Kriss Marion, a candidate for District 51 of the State Assembly, confessed that, “those of us in rural Wisconsin, and really rural America, feel very left behind in this discussion.”  In Marion’s eyes, “farmers should be the climate warriors of this moment,” she explained during the town hall. “And unfortunately a narrative has been spread, and perpetuated, and divided us so that there’s a sense here, out in the country, that climate protection — environmental protection —and agricultural prosperity are on two sides of a battle. When, in fact, they should be one and the same.”

Kriss Marion best for Wisconsin Assembly -- Jeanette Kelty

It's time for positive change here in America. The 2020 election is about more than just political opponents facing off. Our core values as a Democratic republic are at stake. My support for positive change for the 51st Wisconsin Assembly District in 2020 is Kriss Marion. Marion is a friend and strong leader. She wants to pass a nonpartisan redistricting solution in 2021 to end dysfunctional gerrymandering in Wisconsin. Marion will work to accept federal funds for Medicaid expansion so rural hospitals and clinics can keep providing health care services for the poor and elderly, as well as quality care for everyone as a right. It is shameful that the Republican legislative leadership has blocked this expansion for almost a decade and failed to control skyrocketing prescription drug costs. Marion will work tirelessly as a public servant for all Wisconsinites. Please visit and learn why Marion deserves to serve in the Assembly. Vote for her Nov. 3. Jeanette Kelty, Monroe

Kriss Marion Interviewed on WRCO Radio in Richland Center

Kriss Marion was interviewed on WRCO Radio in Richland Center in May when she announced her candidacy. Kriss talks about why she's running and how we can work together to make Southwest Wisconsin a better place to live.  Listen Here           Continue reading

Kriss Marion's Candidacy Announcement

  County Supervisor Kriss Marion to Challenge Dodgeville Mayor Todd Novak for 51st Assembly Seat Pledges to help stop the bickering and get to work in Madison For Immediate Release May 2, 2020 Contact [email protected]; (608)-352-0737 Blanchardville, WI-- Kriss Marion, a rural entrepreneur and Lafayette County Supervisor, launched her candidacy for the 51st Assembly District today with a video announcement from her farm in rural Blanchardville. “Things are pretty chaotic in our personal and work lives, and the truth is, we don’t need our elected officials causing more chaos in Madison. We’re fighting a world health crisis, and we can’t afford to keep fighting each other,” says Marion in the video, while a large orange rooster crows in the background. “I’m running for State Assembly because I believe good government is possible. I’m ready to see a civil, professional and respectful legislature putting people first. Let’s stop bickering and get to work.” Now in her third term as County Supervisor, Marion recently made history by being elected 2nd Vice Chair of the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors for 2020-22. She is the county’s first woman officer, and her duties include presiding over the powerful Executive, Rules and Legislative Committee. “This should be an interesting contest between two local legislators with very different perspectives about the partisan shenanigans in Madison,” said Marion. “I consider Mayor Novak to be a friend. We’ve often met about legislative matters, and we’ve served on boards together. So this won’t be a personal mudslinging contest from my side. I am in this race simply because we need more action and less talk at the Capital. I’m an independent voice on my county board, and I get things done.” This winter, Marion won an Openness in Government Award from the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council for her efforts to block Lafayette County from passing a resolution restricting county elected officials and employees from discussing results of the Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater and Geology (SWIGG) study of private well contamination. The resolution also threatened to prosecute members of the press who didn’t print county press wisconsin state assembly releases about SWIGG verbatim, but was dropped after drawing widespread national criticism for violating 1st Amendment freedoms of speech. “Clean water for rural well owners is essential, and I wasn’t about to let the results of the SWIGG study get buried by an unconstitutional resolution in Lafayette County,” said Marion. “I won’t let important issues get buried at the State Capital, either. 2019 was Governor Evers’ Year of Clean Drinking water, and yet this legislature has passed none of their own Task Force’s recommendations. More work, less talk – that’s why I’m running. We need a legislature that shows up to do the job.” Marion is a well-known small business and family farm advocate – famously challenging the state ban on selling home baked goods. She and two other women farmers – all part of SW Wisconsin’s “Soil Sisters” farm advocacy group – went to court in 2016 and won home bakers the right to sell goods face-to-face. “Since then, we’ve seen a huge growth in farm market vendors and baking businesses in our small towns,” says Marion. “We still need more rural economic development opportunities, but that was a sweet victory.” Kriss Marion and her husband, Shannon, raise sheep and run a farmstay bed and breakfast in rural Blanchardville. They have four children who graduated from Pecatonica Area School District and a grandchild who chases the rooster. Learn more at 

The COOKIE BATTLE for Food Freedom that started it all...

In 2015, Kriss and two farmer friends - all members of a Wisconsin women farmers support group called the Soil Sisters - started the process of writing a "Cookie Bill" with legislators in Madison. The bill was designed to allow home bakers to sell up to $15,000 per year worth of non-hazardous products directly to neighbors without building a commercial kitchen. All three of the women were bed and breakfast owners, already state inspected to bake for guests, but Wisconsin statues banned them from selling those same goods at the farmers market or a farm stand. At the time, Wisconsin was one of only TWO states that banned home baking. After three years of having the bill blocked from a vote by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and the grocery lobby, the Soil Sisters sued the state and won. In the summer of 2019, the women - Dela Ends, Lisa Kivirist and Kriss - were featured speakers on the stage of FarmAid - and got some love from the one and only Tanya Tucker. Their up-close experience with big money lobbies and political gridlock at the Capital was the turning point that convinced Kriss to run for state office. Read more about their fight and Kriss' Food Freedom policy platform to help create more opportunities for Wisconsin's struggling farmers... Continue reading

Rural America’s Own Private Flint: Polluted Water Too Dangerous to Drink

But Kriss Marion, an organic farmer campaigning for State Senate through southern Wisconsin, said the state’s wetlands, streams and groundwater were being stripped of protections as industrial farms were allowed to grow larger and larger. She said staff levels at the Department of Natural Resources had been “gutted” under Mr. Walker. “That’s why I am running,” she said. “This is the fight of the decade.” The Republican incumbent in her district, Howard Marklein, supported a $3 billion incentive package championed by Mr. Walker to draw a huge new electronics factory to Wisconsin that also allowed the factory to bypass environmental and water rules. He has been endorsed by trade groups representing dairy, pork, cattle, potato and corn farmers. Continue reading

Why competitive districts matter

In August I spent a Saturday with Kriss Marion. Marion is trying to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Howard Marklein in a southwestern Wisconsin district that could determine which party controls the state Senate come January. I wrote about her unusual campaign in an Isthmus cover story, but she and her campaign manager, Anna Landmark, are such interesting women that there was a lot I had to leave behind even with my 3,000 word limit. One story from that day that I keep thinking about is how Marion approached a hostile voter. We were at the Boscobel farmers’ market and she was working the line of vendors. She had just finished talking with a woman who was strongly supportive when she moved on to a vendor selling leather goods. Continue reading

Wisconsin State Journal Endorses Kriss Marion for State Senate

This levelheaded and disarming farmer and bed-and-breakfast owner in Blanchardville hasn’t lived in southwest Wisconsin for most of her life, as her opponent, Rep. Howard Marklein, has. But Marion better understands what it takes for her district to attract and keep more young families and workers to fill jobs and start businesses — one of the biggest challenges facing the region. Marion fled the Chicago area with her husband years ago for the beauty and small-town life of the Driftless Area, where she has raised four children. Continue reading

Will this woman flip the Senate?

Kriss Marion bounces along the back roads of southwest Wisconsin in a 1994 red Dodge Ram pickup. Big signs, hand-painted on plywood, adorn each side of the pickup bed and declare her as a candidate for Senate District 17. She’s a Democrat looking to unseat incumbent Sen. Howard Marklein in a seat once held by Republican maverick Dale Schultz. On this Saturday in August she wears cowboy boots, a blue sleeveless dress and a cowboy hat. The same Patsy Cline tape plays over and over again on the cassette tape player. When I ask if there are other options she tells me to check the glove compartment. In it I find a few tapes that have somehow, maybe through the intense heat of many Driftless summers, become fused together. I manage to detach one, an old Roy Rogers and Dale Evans tape titled, Sweet Hour of Prayer. We continue listening to Patsy Cline. Continue reading

Campaign 2018: Kriss Marion (D) Candidate for 17th SD

On September 17, 2018, Senior Producer Steve Walters interviewed Kriss Marion (D-Blanchardville) who is running for the 17th Senate District in the upcoming election. #campaign2018