• WisPolitics


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

 12:44 AM 

King says voters knew her, Hopper better than in '08

Dem Jess King came up 163 votes short against Republican Randy Hopper in their 2008 race. On Tuesday, she bested him by 1,251.

She said the difference is voters got to know them better over the past three years.

“It has to do with constituents really getting in touch with their public servants,” she said. “I think the grassroots effort of 23,000 constituents in the district was saying we want to exercise our constitutional rights to elect a representative who will truly represent us in the democratic process.”

The district is home to the highest concentration of public employees outside Dane County, and Hopper, R-Fond du Lac, was considered vulnerable heading into Tuesday's election in part because of his vote for the guv's collective bargaining changes that outraged public employees.

Some of the results Tuesday may reflect that, particularly in Waupun, home to one of the state’s prisons.

The southern half of the city is in Dodge County, and Hopper won that portion of the district by 322 votes three years ago. On Tuesday, King won it by 164 votes.

Hopper also saw his margin drop off dramatically in Fond du Lac County, where he won by 1,865 votes Tuesday compared to 4,094 votes in 2008 with turnout somewhat lower than three years ago.

King’s margin in Winnebago County was also down from 2008, but not nearly the drop off that Hopper saw in Fond du Lac County. She won in Winnebago County by 2,952 votes Tuesday compared to 4,253 votes in 2008.

Still, King said her win was due to more than just public employees.

“Individuals who were independents, who self-identified as Republicans, Democrats, people who never got engaged, they really saw an extreme agenda,” she said.

-- By JR Ross

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