Ho-Chunk Supreme Court Associate Justice Tricia Zunker Seeks Congressional Seat

Tricia Zunker (Ho-Chunk) is among four candidates vying for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional district seat.

An Associate Justice for the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court, Tricia Zunker hopes to become Wisconsin’s first-ever Native American member of Congress — and the third American Indian woman elected to Congress.

Democrats will cast votes on February 18 to decide between candidates Zunker, 39, and Lawrence Dale, 71. If she wins the upcoming primary election, Zunker will face a Republican opponent — Jason Church, 30, or Tom Tiffany, 62 — in the general election on May 12, 2020.

Zunker, who stems from a strong union household (her mother is a proud union member for over 30 years) and generations of dairy farmers, is the first Native American congressional candidate from Wisconsin in nearly three decades.

“Representation matters,” Zunker has said. “Sometimes the Native community and other minority communities haven’t felt represented in Congress or in other elected capacities.” 

Zunker’s campaign platform appeals to strengthening the state’s economy and infrastructure. 

“In order for Northern Wisconsin to thrive, it is critical that we invest to build a diverse and energetic regional economy that strengthens the middle class by focusing on manufacturing, small business owners, our farmers, education and career training. Government should bring together our businesses, educators and community leaders to develop and find solutions,” her campaign states. 

She is particularly an advocate for small and midsize farmers. “We need to ensure they have access to competitive markets, we need to address the supply management situation,” said Zunker. 

Tricia Zunker’s Candidate Highlights: 

  • The first in her family to graduate from college (University of Wisconsin – Madison), Zunker went on to law school (UCLA School of Law) and became a practicing attorney and law professor. 
  • In 2013, she was elected by the Ho-Chunk Nation to serve as Associate Justice of the Ho-Chunk Supreme Court, a position she was re-elected to in 2017.
  • In 2018, Tricia joined the Wausau School Board; she currently serves as board president.
  • From her office in Wausau, Tricia teaches remotely as a law professor at three institutions: the California School of Law, Colorado State University – Global Campus, and the University of Maryland Currently.
  • Last year, Zunker led a statewide advocacy push to retire Native American mascots from schools.

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