• WisPolitics


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

 12:05 AM 

Young wins 16th AD Dem Primary

Incumbent Rep. Leon Young held onto is 16th AD seat, winning 52 percent of the vote in a four-way primary.

Challenger Andy Parker finished with 20 percent, while David King ended the night with 16 percent and Richard Badger trailed with 12 percent.

Young is unopposed in the general election.

-- By David Wise


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

 11:58 PM 

Colon easily defends 8th AD Dem primary challenge

Incumbent Rep. Pedro Colon has bested his challengers in the 8th AD Dem primary, capturing 55 percent of the vote.

Laura Manriquez, who tried unsuccessfully to knock Colon off the ballot over his nomination papers, trailed with less than half of Colon's showing at 26 percent. Jose Guzman, who received support from former state Sen. Tom Reynolds's Clean Sweep PAC, finished with 19 percent.

-- By David Wise

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 11:48 PM 

Brady beats Lauer in 24 AD Dem primary

Charlene Brady has won the 24th AD Democratic primary, beating out Torrey Lauer 59 percent to 41 percent after what she has described as a "frugal campaign" on her part.

"It was nice to win the primary," Brady said. "I didn't spend very much money."

She isn't planning to break from her frugal formula either.

"I'm going to compete on common sense and some of my background and do it that way," she said.

Brady will face off with Dan Knodl, who is a fellow Washington County Board member.

She said that Knodl had a "war chest" and that she wasn't going to compete with that.

Though the 24th district is traditionally a Republican district, Brady isn't letting that get in her way.

"I'll just have to work harder" to win, she said.

Lauer said that there were several reasons for the primary results.

"Part of the reason was that people wanted to vote for Jim Burkee in the congressional race," he said. "And I had many supporters wishing that I would make it through to the general election."

He said that these supporters felt that they had to vote for the less-conservative Republican Burkee in order to get U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner out of office.

Lauer also said that if people had heard his views on the issues as well as Brady's, they would have seen that he was the better candidate.


-- By Samantha Hernandez

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 11:46 PM 

Roys wins 81st

Kelda Helen Roys is headed to the Assembly.

"I just feel great," said Roys shortly after the results became final. "I am so honored. I feel tremendously grateful to the voters of the 81st for putting their trust in me."

Roys, former executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, won in a six-way Democratic primary 31 percent of the vote. Justin Sargent received 27 percent.

John Laubmeier finished third with 16 percent of the vote. Former lobbyist Eric Englund recieved 14 percent, while Dane County assistant DA Tim Kiefer and restaurant owner Peng Her received 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

The Democrats were running to replace retiring Dem Rep. Dave Travis. No Republicans are running in the district.

Laubmeier, the Waunakee Village Board President, had an early lead as results trickled in from wards outside of Madison. But when numbers started to come from the city, Roys surged to the win.

Roys thanked her opponents.

"They really ran tough, strong races and they made me a better candidate," she said.

Roys owed her win to "knocking on doors non-stop," saying she hit 20,000 in the course of her campaign. She said her top priorities will be to address economic development, and reforming the education and health care systems.

"They are tools of economic deveopment and very connected to our economy," she said.

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 11:34 PM 

Pasch takes 22nd AD Dem Primary

Sandy Pasch has won the 22nd AD Dem primary with 37 percent in the vote in a four-way race. Close behind Pasch was Andy Feldman, with 36 percent of the vote. Dan Kohl, nephew of U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, finished with 23 percent. Guy Johnson trailed with 4 percent.

Pasch will face Republican Yash Wadhwa in the general election.

-- By David Wise

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 11:18 PM 

Williams, Toles trounce Reynolds-linked challanges

Incumbent Dem Annette Polly Williams beat opponent Charisha Allen 88 percent to 12 percent in the 10th AD Dem primary, while 17th AD Rep. Barbara Toles bested Samantha Bady 89 percent to 11 percent. Both challengers received support from former Republican Sen. Tom Reynolds and his Clean Sweep Wisconsin PAC.

Williams said that she was looking forward to continuing to represent her constituents. She has represented the district for 28 years.

Williams feels that former Republican Sen. Tom Reynolds, who supported Allen's campaign and an organization called Change Milwaukee Now she was running under, underestimated the people of Milwaukee. "I guess the vote in Milwaukee showed him, that is not something, no outsider can come in and pick our leadership," Williams said.

Allen did not comment on the outcome in a call from WisPolitics.

Toles said her and Williams' victories, show the community is behind them.

"I think it sends a strong message, particularly to former Sen. Tom Reynolds, that the people in our district, that the people in our community, appreciate the work that we do," Toles said.

She said that Bady's loss had more to do with what she stood for, but that "being linked to Tom Reynolds did not help her." Toles has represented the district since 2004. Several attempts to reach Bady were unsuccessful.

--By Samantha Hernandez

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 11:15 PM 

Brooks, Crofton wins 50th GOP primary

Ed Brooks of Reedsburg is the winner of a four-way GOP primary in the race to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Sheryl Albers in the 50th Assembly District.

With 100 percent reporting, Brooks received 46 percent of the vote. His closest competitor, Todd Allbuagh, received 29 percent. Anthony Carver came in third with 21 percent, and Craig Buswell garnering 4 percent.

Tom Crofton of Richland Center took the two candidate Dem primary, receiving 52 percent of the vote. Darryl Teske received 48 percent.

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 11:04 PM 

Spanbauer wins 53rd AD GOP primary

Richard Spanbauer won the Republican primary in the 53rd Assembly District to replace retiring GOP Rep. Carol Owens.

With 100 percent of the vote in, Spanbauer had 1,115 votes, or 35 percent, while Mike Hatch had 994 votes, or 31 percent; Mike Christianson had 604 votes, or 19 percent; Cecil Streeter had 469 votes, or 14 percent; and Jacob Burns had 25 votes, or 1 percent.

Spanbauer will be favored to beat Dem Jeff Mann in the heavily Republican district.

-- By JR Ross

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 11:00 PM 

Knodl edges out 24th AD Republican primary win

With 100 percent reporting in the 24 AD Republican primary, Dan Knodl has come out on top of a four-way primary with 37 percent of the vote. Close behind was Jason LaSage, who captured 32 percent. Randy Melchert captured 28 percent while Michael Moscicke came in at 3 percent.

Knodl will face Dem Charlene Brady, who beat Torrey Lauer 59 percent to 41 percent tonight.

-- By David Wise

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 10:59 PM 

Tranel to take on Garthwaite

Travis Tranel won the GOP primary in the 49th Assembly District to take on freshman Rep. Phil Garthwaite of Fennimore.

With 100 percent of the vote in, Tranel had 2,143 votes, or 40 percent, while Dennis Lundell had 1,599 votes, or 30 percent, and David Kuhle had 1,570 votes, or 30 percent.

-- By JR Ross

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 10:53 PM 

Danou, Hegenbarth win in 91st AD

Trempealeau cop Chris Danou beat five other Democrats in the primary race to succeed retiring Dem Rep. Barb Gronemus in the northwestern 91st AD.

With 100 percent in, Danou got 34 percent of the vote. Marge Baecker received 25 percent, John Kimmel 12 percent, Steve Boe 12 percent, James Kraft 11 percent and Remy Ceci 6 percent.

Danou will face Republican David Hegenbarth of Galesville. With 100 percent reporting Hegenbarth recieved 64 percent while David Anderson got 36 percent.

Also vying for the seat are Paul Beseler of Ettrick and Libertarian Ted Burleson of Fountain City.

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 10:44 PM 

Staskunas beats Hoisington

Incumbent Dem Rep. Tony Staskunas coasted to an easy victory over challenger Josh Hoisington in the West Allis-area Assembly District.

Staskunas said he expected to do well against Hoisington, who was backed by former Republican Sen. Tom Reynolds's Clean Sweep campaign. He won with 76 percent of the vote, compared to 24 percent for Hoisington.

"It's really nice to have that overwhelming of a victory," Staskunas said.

Staskunas said it's likely that Republican crossover votes helped boost Hoisington's numbers on the east side of West Allis, which had no Republican primary. Staskunas said he showed strongest against Hoisington on the west side of West Allis, in which U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner faced a primary challenge by Jim Burkee.

"I think the Tom Reynolds connection helped him bring some of the Republicans into the Democratic primary, or frankly, the numbers would have been higher for me," Staskunas said.

Hoisington said he accepts the outcome.

"The people have spoken," Hoisington said.

Hoisington acknowledged Reynolds supported his campaign, but said that support came to him after he had decided to run on a platform of lowering taxes.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," Hoisington said about suggestions he was recruited by Reynolds.

Hoisington said he didn't believe support from Reynolds helped or hurt him, and that voters likely based their decisions on his conversations with them.

-- By David Wise

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 10:37 PM 

Milroy wins 73rd AD Dem primary

Nick Milroy of Superior received 50 percent of the vote in the four-way 73rd Assembly District primary with 100 percent of the vote counted. The seat is open due to the retirement of longtime Dem Rep. Frank Boyle of Superior.

Mary Tripp was the closest competitor, with 31 percent. Vern Johnson had 18 percent and Bruce Meyers has 1 percent.

There are no Republicans running in the district, though there is an independent candidate, Jeffrey Monaghan of Superior.

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 10:33 PM 

Sinicki defends seat

Incumbent Rep. Christine Sinicki defended her seat with 61 percent of the vote against challengers Phil Landowski and Steven Sutherland.

Sinicki attributed her win to voters rejecting the more conservative views of her challengers.

"I think that the people are smart enough to realize that my opponents were Republicans," Sinicki said. She added that it was a "big mistake" for Sutherland to pass on debates.

Although he has denied being recruited by former Republican Sen. Tom Reynolds, Landowski, who captured 24 percent of the vote, said the media attention of his support from Reynolds actually helped him.

"I think it helped; I think in a lot of ways name recognition is the thing," Landowski said, adding that a lot of people he talked to appreciated Reynolds for his fight against the automatic gas tax increase.

"My name's out there now and I'll be back," Landowski said.

Sutherland received 15 percent of the vote.

-- By David Wise and Samantha Hernandez

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 10:29 PM 

Zamba to face Kerkman

Democrat Larry Zamba will face Rep. Samantha Kerkman, R-Genoa City, in the Nov. 4 election.

Zamba is the projected winner in the 66th Assembly District Democratic primary. Zamba received 66 percent of the vote, while opponent Mike Orr got 34 percent.

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 10:26 PM 

Moga may have votes to make 67th AD fall ballot as Republican

Dan Moga may be in good shape to make the fall ballot in the 67th Assembly District as a Republican to challenge independent Jeff Wood.

Moga needs just less than 500 write-in votes in today's primary to qualify for the fall ballot under the GOP banner. The clerks in all three counties that make up the district -- Barron, Chippewa and Dunn -- said they wouldn't have official numbers until after Thursday's boards of canvass meetings.

But Chippewa County reported 771 write-in votes in the 67th District's GOP primary today; they were not broken down by name.

Dunn County reported at least 67 write-in votes for Moga, while Barron County tallied 24 scattering votes.

If 55 percent of those write-in and scattering votes not yet tallied end up going for Moga, he should have enough votes to get on the ballot.

-- By JR Ross

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 10:20 PM 

LeMahieu gets primary nod

GOP Rep. Daniel LeMahieu of Cascade will come back for a fourth term in the Assembly.

With 100 percent reporting, he received 71 percent. Challenger Karl McCarty to 29 percent.

There are no Democrats vying for the seat.

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 10:18 PM 

Egelhoff wins GOP primary in the 57th

Former Appleton Ald. Jo Egelhoff received 81 percent of the vote in the 57th Assembly District GOP primary, easily beating Outagamie County Supervisor Peter Stueck, who got 19 percent.

Egelhoff will next face off against Dem Penny Bernard Schaber in the Nov. 4 general election to replace retiring GOP Rep. Steve Wieckert.

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 10:16 PM 

Barca coming back to Assembly

Former U.S. and state Rep. Peter Barca is coming back to Madison after easily outdistancing two opponents in the 64th Assembly District.

With 100 percent reporting, Barca received 75 percent of the vote. Jim Huff had 23 percent, and Michael Orth had 2 percent.

Barca will replace Assembly Minority Leader Jim Kreuser, D-Kenosha, who vacated the seat to take over as Kenosha County Executive. There are no Republicans running for the seat.

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 9:53 PM 

Schneider beats primary opponent

Rep. Marlin Schneider, D-Wisconsin Rapids, beat his primary opponent Thad Kubisiak. With 92 percent reporting, the race has been called with Schneider getting 59 percent of the vote and Kubisiak 41 percent.

The primary win means Schneider is headed back for his 20th two-year term in the Assembly, as no Republicans are running in the district.

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 9:25 PM 

Early Milwaukee results are in

Early returns are coming in in some contested Milwaukee-area races.

Dan Kohl is leading a four-way Dem primary to fill the 22nd Assembly District on Milwaukee's north side. Dem Rep. Sheldon Wasserman opted to run for the Senate rather than seek re-election. With 24 percent reporting, Kohl had 38 percent, Sandy Pasch, 31 percent; Andy Feldman, 28 percent; and Guy Johnson, 3 percent.

In the 24th AD, Randy Melchert was leading a four-way Republican primary for the seat being vacated by GOP Rep. Suzanne Jeskewitz. With 25 percent reporting, Melchert had 54 percent of the vote, Jason LaSage had 29 percent, Dan Knodl had 12 percent and Moscicke had 5 percent.

Charlene Brady was leading the 24th AD Dem primary. With 25 percent of the vote in, Brady had 63 percent of the vote to Torrey Lauer's 37 percent.

Milwaukee-area Assembly incumbents were faring well in early returns.

Rep. Christine Sinicki had a strong lead in the 20th AD Dem primary. With 12 percent reporting, Sinicki had 66 percent of the vote, while Phil Landowski had 21 percent and Steven Sutherland had 13 percent.

With 23 percent reporting, incumbent Rep. Tony Staskunas was leading challenger Josh Hoisington 79 percent to 21 percent in the 15 AD Dem primary.

Rep. Annette Polly Williams, defending her seat against a challenge by Charisha Allen, was leading 90 percent to 10 percent with 7 percent reporting in the 10th AD.

With 28 percent reporting, incumbent Rep. Pedro Colon is ahead of his challengers in the 8th AD, with 58 percent of the vote. Laura Manriquez, who tried unsuccessfully to knock Colon off the ballot over his nomination papers, is trailing with 24 percent of the vote. Jose Guzman, who received support from former state Sen. Tom Reynolds's Clean Sweep PAC, has 18 percent.

Incumbent Leon Young is holding a narrow lead with 17 percent reporting in a four-way 16th AD Dem primary with 38 percent. Andy Parker has 32 percent, while David King has 16 percent and Richard Badger has 14 percent.

In Milwaukee's 17th AD Dem primary, incumbent Rep. Barbara Toles is leading challenger Samantha Bady 88 percent to 12 percent with 52 percent reporting.


-- By Dave Wise

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 9:20 PM 

Koebke wins GOP primary in 37th Assembly District

Kent Koebke has won the opportunity to take on freshman Dem Rep. Andy Jorgensen this fall.

With 90 percent of the vote in, Koebke had 1,078 votes, or 51 percent, while Tom Luetzow had 637 votes, or 30 percent, and Brian Peters had 415 votes, or 19 percent.

-- By JR Ross

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 9:19 PM 

Sherman survives primary

Dem Rep. Gary Sherman easily beat his primary opponent tonight.

The race has been called with 75 percent of the vote in. With those votes counted, Sherman has 77 percent of the vote to Alan Ralph's 23 percent.

Sherman, of Port Wing, will face Shirl LaBarre of Hayward in the Nov. 4 general election. Sherman beat her in 2006.

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 9:15 PM 

Rhoades projected to win primary

State Rep. Kitty Rhoades of Hudson didn't have much to worry about in her primary challenge.

With one-fourth of the vote in, she had already been projected to win over Bob Hughes. She had 793 votes, or 91 percent, to 80 votes, or 9 percent for Hughes.

She'll face Sarah Bruch of Hudson this fall.

-- By JR Ross

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 9:09 PM 

Sensenbrenner turns back primary challenger easily

U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner said his victory in today's GOP primary proves the district appreciates the kind of represenation he provides, and he has no plans to retire any time soon.

With 62 percent of the vote in, Sensenbrenner had 31,565 votes, or 79 percent, to Jim Burkee's 8,279 votes, or 21 percent of the vote.

"I think that the results show that if you tell it as it is, you don't try to spin things, you keep in touch with the people, the voters will respond," said Sensenbrenner, who will be unopposed in November.

Sensenbrenner said he has no plans to change how he's represented the district, and while he takes the job "two years at a time," he's just as vigorous and active as he was when he was first elected three decades ago.

Burkee, who made federal spending a cornerstone of his campaign and criticized Sensenbrenner for some of his votes, said he would continue to focus on the issue for the next two years. But he was unsure if he would try to challenge Sensenbrenner again.

"It's not only physically and financially challenging, but you see what happens when you challenge the establishment," Burkee said. "It's easy to see a good name sullied."

-- By JR Ross

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 9:01 PM 

O'Neil wins Dem primary in 47th, Ripp ahead on GOP side

It looks like Dem Trish O'Neil and Republican Keith Ripp will square off in the 47th Assembly District this fall to replace retiring GOP Rep. Eugene Hahn.

With 90 percent of the vote in, O'Neil had 1,500 votes, or 62 percent, compared to 935 votes for Paul Fisk, or 38 percent.

On the GOP side, Ripp had 1,428 votes, or 55 percent, while Eric Ruth had 518 votes, or 19 percent; Tim McCumber had 473 votes, or 18 percent; and Steve Pate had 252 votes, or 9 percent.

-- By JR Ross

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 8:50 PM 

Townsend beats back primary challenge

State Rep. John Townsend, R-Fond du Lac, has easily beaten back a primary challenge.

According to unofficial results, Townsend has 1,613 votes, or 70 percent, to 654 votes, or 29 percent, for challenger Scott Matthew with 71 percent of the vote in.

Democrat Jerry Keifenheim will face Townsend this fall.

-- By JR Ross

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 8:32 PM 

O'Neil opens lead in 47th Dem primary

Trish O'Neil has taken a big lead on Paul Fisk in the race for the Democratic candidacy in the seat left open by the retirement of Rep. Eugene Hahn, R-Cambria.

Fisk, the former mayor of Lodi, trails O'Neil 68-32 with 41 percent reporting.

-- By Andy Szal

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 8:25 PM 

Englund, Roys take early lead in 81st district

The first returns have begun to trickle in from the crowded 81st Assembly Dem primary.

Kelda Helen Roys and Eric Englund each have 26 percent of the vote with 8 percent of precincts reporting. Justin Sargent has 21 percent, followed by John Laubmeier at 18 percent, Tim Kiefer at six percent, and Peng Her at three percent. The winner of tonight's primary will not face an opponent in the fall election.

Track all primary results here.

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 3:23 PM 

Kennedy: Things smooth but slow

Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy said things have been slow but smooth so far today.

Kennedy spent the day traveling Wisconsin with an official from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, checking out polling places in Madison, Sun Prairie, Delavan and Brookfield.

Kennedy said the only trouble he'd heard about were municipalities that had problems getting their equipment to work that allows those with disabilities to vote without assistance.

Oregon, for example, lost its equipment in this spring's floods and had to go to a back up, which worked fine last week but wasn't working today.

"They don't get a whole lot of use, but you want to have them there," he said.

Kennedy also said he was unsure whether the state would have turnout in the 15 percent range as he had predicted going in to today. Kennedy said it would also take a while to figure that out because there isn't a statewide race on the ballot, and it'll take a review of returns from all Wisconsin municipalities before figuring out turnout.

-- By JR Ross

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 1:34 PM 

Moga may have to wait to see if he makes the fall ballot

It'll likely be Thursday before Don Moga knows for sure whether he'll be on the ballot this fall as a Republican against independent Jeff Wood.

Clerks for the three counties that comprise the district -- Barron, Chippewa and Dunn -- said they will not have final results until after Thursday morning's board of canvass meeting.

Moga will need just less than 500 votes in today's primary to qualify for the fall ballot as a Republican.

Chippewa County makes up the largest chunk of the 67th Assembly District, and Deputy Clerk Diane Finch said municipal clerks are unlikely to report write-in votes tonight. She may have some idea tomorrow how many write ins were cast, but didn't expect a final tally until Thursday.

Dunn County Clerk Marilyn Hoyt said she may have an idea today of how many write-in votes were cast overall, but she won't know for sure if they were for Moga until Thursday.

Likewise, Barron County Clerk DeeAnn Cook said she'd only have a number of scattering votes tonight, but wouldn't know for sure if they went for Moga until Thursday.

All three reported very light turnout today.

-- By JR Ross

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 10:45 AM 

Grothman takes shots at Burkee in letter urging support for Sensenbrenner

State Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, is urging his conservative and libertarian friends to re-think their decision to support Jim Burkee in today's GOP primary against U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

The conservative Boots & Sabers blog posted a letter from Grothman today in which the state senator takes a series of shots at Burkee, who he says has been inconsistent in the positions he's taken during the course of the campaign. Grothman also writes he's "never met a politician who more brazenly tries to win a Republican primary with Democratic voters." Grothman charges that Burkee is relying on Bryan Kennedy, who ran against Sensenbrenner as a Democratic previously, was helping out with the campaign. Burkee has also been endorsed by Shepherd's Express and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"The Bryan Kennedy/Shepherd's Express/Journal Sentinel candidate is not the breath of fresh air you are looking for," Grothman writes.

Read the post.

-- By Staff

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 6:50 AM 

'Very low' turnout of 15 percent expected today

GAB director Kevin Kennedy said he expects turnout to be about 15 percent tomorrow, which he said would be very low.

About 14.5 percent of voters turned out for the 2006 primaries, compared to 16.7 percent in 2004. Turnout was just 10.4 percent for the 2000 elections and was up to 22 percent in 2002, when there was a three-way race for the Dem guv nomination.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

 5:45 PM 

Wood gets a write-in GOP challenger

Don Moga, who closed his contracting business this year after 27 years, will try to get on the fall ballot in tomorrow's primary to run as a Republican against independent Jeff Wood in November.

Moga, 57, said he sent out an e-mail Thursday morning notifying some people that he planned to run and spent much of Monday doing media interviews as word of the campaign spread.

He previously served six years on the Lake Holcombe School Board, including five as president, but said he hasn't been politically active since. He described himself as "pretty right and pretty right morally." Still, he said he was trying to focus on getting enough votes to qualify for the fall ballot before delving too much into his platform.

Moga decided to close his contracting company this year after breaking even or losing money for the last several years. He said he's been trying to liquidate the company's assets to get out of debt and he'd been looking for what to do next.

"The main thing here is let's get by Tuesday. Let's give him some competition, and then let's start talking about ideas," Moga said, adding his campaign would focus largely on the family. "I see economic and moral issues attacking the family."

Moga needs about 500 votes to qualify for the fall ballot under the GOP banner.

About 5,500 voters turned out in the district for the 2006 Dem and GOP primaries, which featured J.B. Van Hollen and Paul Bucher squaring off at the top of the GOP ticket. Four years ago, about 3,500 voters turned out for the party primaries with a three-way race for the GOP nomination to take on Dem Sen. Russ Feingold. There are no statewide races on the ballot tomorrow.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

 11:29 AM 

Milwaukee Notes: Round-up of Milwaukee-area primary races

Milwaukee Notes, a free weekly newsletter from WisPolitics.com, has profiled the primary candidates running for a pair of Milwaukee-area seats.

Read the candidate profiles:

Democratic primary candidates for the 22nd AD

- Andy Feldman: Feldman touts policy background
- Guy Johnson: Johnson intends non-partisan approach if elected
- Dan Kohl: First-time candidate Kohl not looking beyond Assembly race
- Sandy Pasch: Pasch campaigning on despite injury

(Milwaukee Notes will seek an interview with Republican Yash Wadhwa, who's running unopposed in the 22nd District GOP primary, following the primary election.)


Republican primary candidates for the 24th AD

- Dan Knodl: Knodl hopes to bring 'business sense' to Assembly
- Jason LaSage: Lasage wants to bring change to Madison
- Randy Melchert: Melchert aims to bring business experience to Assembly
- Michael Moscicke: Moscicke stresses state government experience in Assembly bid

Democratic primary candidates for the 24th AD

- Charlene Brady: Brady counting on experience to win 24th AD Dem primary
- Torrey Lauer: Lauer aims to bring fiscal responsibility to Madison

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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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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

 4:11 PM 

GOP still looking for challenger to Rep. Wood

The GOP is still looking for a candidate to try to mount a write-in campaign in Tuesday's primary to get on the fall ballot against independent Jeff Wood.

GOP spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said the party remained hopeful a candidate could be found. Republicans would need their write-in, whose name won't appear on the primary ballot, to get about 500 votes on Tuesday to qualify for the fall election.

Wood's pre-primary report shows he had $2,450 in donations during the period and had $6,568 in his war chest. His individual donations included $100 from Dem state Rep. Barbara Toles of Milwaukee.

The state GOP had asked Wood to return donations he received through a conduit designed to help elect Republican candidates. His report only listed a returned contribution of $100 to Citizens for Renewable Energy and refunds to two donors who had exceeded the $500 limit for an Assembly candidate.

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