Former Burlington Alderman Bob Prailes (left) plans to run for the state Assembly seat currently held by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. The two were photographed in January 2018 when Vos presented Prailes with a legislative proclamation in honor of Prailes being presented the Humanitarian Award by the Rotary Club of Burlington.

Former Burlington alderman wants to challenge state Assembly Speaker

Bob Prailes, a former City of Burlington alderman with a long history of community service, announced on Thursday his intention to run for the 63rd District Assembly seat currently held by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

The announcement could lead to an interesting dynamic for the November election with the possibility of two contemporaries who are well respected and popular in the same community squaring off for the position.

Prailes, however, would have to advance from a primary election in August, if additional Democrat candidates emerge.

Any Democrat likely faces an uphill race against the Republican Vos, who has handily won the Western Racine County seat since 2005 in the conservative-leaning district. Vos has been Assembly Speaker since 2013 and is currently president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Prailes served on the Burlington Common Council for 10 years.

The 63rd Assembly District includes Burlington, Dover, Rochester, Union Grove, Yorkville, as well as portions of Burlington township, Mount Pleasant, and Sturtevant.

“I’m running … because our current legislative leadership continues to put political self-interest above service to their fellow Wisconsinites,” Prailes said in a news release issued Thursday afternoon. “The current pandemic crisis has put a spotlight on the dysfunction in our state government, and the real-world consequences for our public health and the economy have been devastating for families and small businesses.”

A lifelong resident of Burlington, Prailes owns Bob Prailes Remodeling. His extensive community service record includes his current position as president of the local chapter of Kiwanis International. Prailes is also a longtime member of the Chocolatefest Executive Board. While on the City Council he served on both the Planning Commission and Park Board.

Full coverage of the announcement will appear in the May 7 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.