Incumbent survives Supreme Court primary electionWisconsin News
-- Incumbent David Prosser and Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg have advanced to the April election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Incumbent David Prosser and Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg have advanced to the April election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Prosser, a justice for 12 years, received 55-percent of the vote in yesterday’s primary. Kloppenburg had 25-percent. Marla Stephens, head of the public defender’s appellate division, was eliminated with 11-percent of the vote. Madison attorney Joel Winnig placed fourth with nine-percent. Just over 400,000 total votes were cast in a primary that was expected to get a 10-percent statewide turnout.
Prosser said he has strong support in every part of the state, and he wants to build on it. Prosser – part of the court’s 4-3 conservative majority – also said Kloppenburg and Stephens wanted a quote, “much more left-leaning court than the one we have now.”
Kloppenburg said her showing in the primary indicates that voters are fed up with the public divisiveness on the Supreme Court, and they’ve lost some confidence in the institution. She said it’s clear that people want public financing.
All the primary candidates but Stephens received $100,000 tax dollars for their campaigns, under a new law designed to keep special interests out of judicial races. Stephens only raised about $40,000 on her own. Prosser and Kloppenburg will each get $300,000 in tax money for the general election. But outside groups can still advertise on their own. The conservative Wisconsin Club for Growth had the only statewide TV ad in the primary, supporting Prosser.
Former State Treasurer Jack Voight will run against former State Assembly Democratic leader Tom Nelson to become the next Outagamie County executive. Voight and Nelson advanced yesterday in a six-way primary, after incumbent Toby Paltzer said he would step down. Both winners received just over five-thousand votes apiece. Grand Chute town chairman Michael Marsden was eliminated, along with County Board members Anne Strauch and Charles Kramer and former board member Michael Thomas. The 65-year-old Voight served a dozen years as Wisconsin’s state treasurer. The 34-year-old Nelson spent six years in the Assembly, the last two as the majority leader. He left Madison after running unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor last fall.
Former state Assembly Democrat Pedro Colon survived a three-way primary for Milwaukee County Circuit Judge yesterday. Colon got 36-percent of the vote, and Municipal Judge Christopher Lipscomb of Glendale also advanced with 33-percent. Assistant State Attorney General Roy Korte was defeated with 31-percent. Former Governor Jim Doyle was criticized by conservatives last September when he appointed Colon to replace retiring Circuit Judge Patricia McMahon. But since then, the new judge has received praise from jurists, local and state leaders, and others for his work in Milwaukee’s Children’s Court. Colon received the most votes in a local Bar Association survey which determined the most qualified of the three candidates.
State Representative Jeff Stone and philanthropist Chris Abele are the finalists for Milwaukee County’s top office. Both advanced after a five-way primary yesterday. Stone, a Republican from Greendale, got 44-percent of the vote and Abele had 25-percent. Former State Senator Jim Sullivan of Wauwatosa was eliminated with 22-percent of the vote. County Board Chairman Lee Holloway had eight-percent. And Ieshuh Griffin finished last with one-percent. Stone says he’s been the clearest about getting Milwaukee County’s fiscal house in order. Abele says he has a broader background in business and community activism, and that should make him stand out against Stone in the general election in April. The winner will serve the final year of Scott Walker’s term. He left as county executive after being elected Wisconsin’s governor.
In Madison, State Representative Joe Parisi and Dane County Board member Eileen Bruskewitz won yesterday’s primary for county executive. Parisi, a Madison Democrat, received 26-percent of the vote in a six-way contest. Bruskewitz, a conservative, got 22-percent. And she eliminated County Board Chairman Scott McDonell by a comfortable 1,200-vote margin. Former state Democratic Party chairman Joe Wineke took fourth. Former state Commerce official Zach Brandon was fifth. And Spencer Zimmermann took sixth. Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz survived a five-way primary. But he finished second to former Mayor Paul Soglin, who had 49.5 percent of the vote. Cieslewicz had 46.5 percent. Both had 17-to-18-thousand votes while none of the other three hopefuls could muster 600 votes.