• WisPolitics

Friday, September 5, 2008

 3:57 PM 

Assembly primaries in many cases will decide who goes to Madison in January

With the Republican National Convention now over, the Wisconsin political scene swiftly shifts its attention to Tuesday's fall primaries.

A host of primaries around the state will narrow down the field in key districts seen as determining which party will control the currently split state Legislature.

In the state Assembly, the races for some of the most targeted seats in the state will finally take shape, while voters in safer districts that have only drawn candidates from one party will essentially decide who their next state legislator will be.

Below, WisPolitics details the pre-primary campaign finance reports, when available from the GAB, in some of the key primaries.

*8th District, Milwaukee

Despite fighting claims from political rivals that he's been absent from his Capitol office and an ineffective legislator, Rep. Pedro Colón looks to survive his heated Democratic primary campaign against Esperanza Unida's Laura Manriquez and Jose Guzman, one of several conservative Democrats promoted by former GOP Sen. Tom Reynolds' Clean Sweep Wisconsin PAC. Manriquez outraised Colón over the most recent reporting period, but the incumbent has a cash-on-hand advantage of $5,028 to Manriquez's $900. Guzman reported no cash-on-hand despite raising $400.

*10th District, Milwaukee

Clean Sweep candidate Charisha Allen reported $687 raised during the period, but no cash-on-hand. Dem Rep. Annette Polly Williams had yet to file with the GAB at press time.

*16th District, Milwaukee

Rep. Leon Young, who faces three Democratic challengers on Tuesday, reported $8,735 raised for a war chest of $4,377. Clean Sweep Democrat David King raised $1,607, bringing his total cash to $209. Fundraising totals weren't available for Richard Badger or Andy Parker.

*17th District, Milwaukee

Incumbent Democrat Barbara Toles has a comfortable fundraising edge over Samantha Bady, another Democrat supported by Reynolds. Toles raised $7,835 and has $18,727 in the bank; Bady raised $1,454 for a total of $894. None of the Milwaukee Dems facing a Clean Sweep challenge will face a Republican in the general election.

*22nd District, Milwaukee

The seat left open by Rep. Sheldon Wasserman's state Senate run has drawn four Democrats and one Republican. Dan Kohl is the runaway leader in campaign funds in the Democratic primary. The nephew of Wisconsin's senior senator raised $117,926 for a total war chest of $39,583. That's nearly double the next-highest war chest, acquired by Andy Feldman of Shorewood with $20,662, and nearly seven times the fundraising prowess of Sandra Pasch of Whitefish Bay, who raised the second-most at $16,120. Yash Wadhwa awaits the winner of the Dem primary; the Glendale Republican raised $9,833 and banked $8,809.

*24th District, suburban Milwaukee

The GOP-leaning district formerly held by Rep. Sue Jeskewitz has drawn two Germantown Democrats for Tuesday's primary. Carlene Brady trails in cash raised and cash-on-hand to Torrey Laurer for the right to face the winner of a crowded GOP primary. Four Republicans have registered for the seat, but only two fundraising numbers were available from the GAB: Dan Knodl of Germantown, who raised $33,317 and banked $26,745, and Michael Moscicke, who raised a modest $200 for a total of $177.

*37th District, Ft. Atkinson area

Three Republicans have signed up to challenge freshman Dem Andy Jorgensen, who boasts $40,696 in the bank heading into the fall. Kent Koebke has raised $11,685 for a cash balance of $11,810; Tom Luetzow raised $9,670 and banked $7,002.

*47th District, south-central Wisconsin

Former Lodi Mayor Paul Fisk had $12,477 banked in this competitive open seat being vacated by longtime GOP Rep. Eugene Hahn, but trails Trish O'Neil of Columbus, who had $16,724. Keith Ripp leads in cash-on-hand amongst Republicans in the 47th, but he was out-raised this period by Steven Pate, who led the district's candidates with $9,162 raised despite having just over $1,000 on hand. Erich Ruth ($6,150 raised, $5,885 on hand) and Tim McCumber ($466 raised, $4519 on hand) have also filed as Republicans.

*49th District, southwestern Wisconsin

GOP frontrunners David Kuhle and Travis Tranel battle to take on freshman Rep. Phil Garthwaite and his nearly $36,000 war chest in November. Kuhle reports under $200 in the bank, but more than $35,000 raised. Tranel raised $3,890 for a total of $10,186.

*50th District, south-central Wisconsin

Rep. Sheryl Albers' seat is sought by four Republicans and two Democrats. Former Senate staffer Todd Allbaugh ($9,930 raised, $9,258 on hand) and Ed Brooks ($13,600 raised, $8,799 on hand) lead the GOP; Darryl Teske ($4,705 raised, $5,111) has a marginal fundraising edge on the Democratic side over Tom Crofton ($2,808 raised, $2,663).

*53rd District, Oshkosh

The race for retiring GOP Rep. Carol Owens' seat has a runaway fundraising leader in Republican Cecil Streeter, with $10,237 raised and $11,585 in the bank. Fellow Republican Mike Hatch raised $6,000 but banked less than $500; two other Republicans weren't available. The lone Dem in the race, Jeff Mann, has $1,062 on hand.

*57th District, Appleton

Jo Egelhoff has a sizable advantage over Peter Stueck in this two-way GOP primary to succeed longtime GOP Rep. Steve Wieckert. Egelhoff raised $10,856 for a war chest of $14,629; Stueck has $2,995 and $1,188, respectively. Although the Appleton seat is currently held by a Republican, the financial edge heading into the fall goes to Democrat Penny Bernard Schaber, with $56,279 on hand.

*64th District, Kenosha

The winner of this Democratic primary will face no opposition in the fall for former Minority Leader and now Kenosha Co. Exec. Jim Kreuser's seat. Former U.S. Rep. Peter Barca, a former state leggie, has raised $26,531 toward the effort. Jim Huff has raised $8,857.

*73rd District, Superior

This far northwestern district also hasn't drawn a GOP candidate, leaving four Dems to fight it out for departing Dem Rep. Frank Boyle's seat on Tuesday. Nick Milroy ($12,521 raised, $17,607 on hand) currently leads in cash raised and cash-on-hand. Trailing him are Mary Tripp ($6,355 raised, $3,698 on hand) and Vern Johnson ($10,845 raised, $764 on hand). The report of Gary Kauther of Poplar wasn't immediately available.

*80th District, Oregon

Incumbent Rep. Brett Davis is facing another election season as a targeted Republican, but his war chest of nearly $94,000 should help. Democrat John Waelti has raised $3,444 leading up to the primary for a total of $3,586. He badly trails Kristin Ann Wisnefske, one of the top fundraisers amongst Dem challengers in the last filing period, who raised $8,596 for a war chest of $30,322.

*81st District, Dane Co.

The northwestern Dane County district long held by Dem Rep. Dave Travis will see the winner of the Dem primary head unopposed into the fall election. Former insurance trade association prez Eric Englund leads with $49,372 raised, but was just edged out in total cash by former NARAL director Kelda Helen Roys, who raised $10,130 to bank $28,108. Former Senate staffer Justin Sargent, another perceived frontrunner, banked $14,850, just ahead of Dane Co. prosecutor Tim Kiefer at $14,719. They are followed by Peng Her ($8,126 raised, $5,270 cash on hand) and John Laubmeier ($3,922, $714) on the Dem ticket.

*91st District, western Wisconsin

The most crowded Assembly race, sparked by the retirement of Dem Rep. Barb Gronemus, features 10 candidates (six Democrats, two Republicans, a Libertarian, and an independent). As far as the primaries are concerned, Dave Hegenbarth holds a sizable advantage over Dave Anderson on the GOP side, while Chris Danou leads in cash-on-hand for the Dems. Danou is trailed in total cash by Remy Cici, Margaret Baecker, Steve Boe and Jim Kraft, respectively. Arcadia Mayor John Kimmel, recently reinstated on the Dem ballot on appeal, hasn't yet had his fundraising numbers disclosed.


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