Joel Kitchens, founder and partner of Door County Veterinary Associates, has announced he will seek the Republican nomination for the 1st Assembly District seat currently held by Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay.
Last month Bies said he will not seek another term. Kitchens is the sixth candidate and fifth Republican to declare his intention to run. Terry McNulty of Forestville; Dr. Paul Feit, Sturgeon Bay; Brian Hackbarth, Fish Creek; and Jon Kruse, Sturgeon Bay, have all declared their intention to seek the GOP nomination. Arnie Johnsrud of Algoma is the only Democrat to declare so far.
Kitchens was born in the District of Columbia and has lived in Sturgeon Bay since 1984. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ohio State University. He has served on the Sturgeon Bay School Board for 15 years. Thirteen of those years he has been president of the board. Kitchens and his wife, Sherry, have three children, Rebecca, Caroline and Will.
"I feel that I have a great deal to offer as a representative of the 1st District," Kitchens said in a news release.
His work as a large animal veterinarian brings him into daily contact with the agricultural communities of Door and Kewaunee counties, he said.
"So I understand the concerns and challenges of rural life, yet my standing as a Sturgeon Bay resident and businessperson allows me to have insight into the struggles of our small businesses," Kitchens said.
Kitchens has been involved with various charitable fundraisers and campaigns. He and his family are active members of the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church. He also coaches baseball and softball youth leagues.