• WisPolitics

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

 6:57 PM 

Roggensack officially announces re-election bid

Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack officially announced her re-election campaign today, declaring "this campaign is about experience.”

Roggensack, elected to the court in 2003, stressed her prior experience on the appeals court, noting she is the only justice to have served at that level. She also touted her work to get the court to “work together to better serve the public.” She cited as an example changes she suggested to how opinions are processed to speed up their release and the creation of a finance committee to monitor use of taxpayer dollars.

The operation of the court could be one of the key issues in the spring race. Potential challengers, including Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi and Marquette University Law Professor Ed Fallone, have said they believe tensions among the justices have hampered court operations and a change in personalities is needed. Noted lemon law attorney Vince Megna has also said he's running.

Roggensack also announced that former Justices William Callow, Louis Ceci, Donald Steinmetz and Jon Wilcox will be honorary co-chairs for her campaign. Born in Joliet, Ill., Roggensack received a bachelor's degree in biology from Drake University and graduated from UW Law School in 1980. She was in private practice in Madison before getting elected to the appeals court in 1996.

If more than two candidates run, there will be a February primary. The general election is April 2.

-- By JR Ross

 8:56 AM 

Pridemore exploring DPI run

GOP state Rep. Don Pridemore said he is exploring a run for DPI superintendent and will make a decision by Monday.

Pridemore, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2004, told WisPolitics.com he has been weighing a bid for a while and decided to explore it further after Superintendent Tony Evers proposed increasing general and categorical aids $615 million in the upcoming budget.

Pridemore, R-Hartford, accused Evers of seeking to send the funding “to places where money hasn’t solved the problem before and more money isn’t going to solve the problem again.”

Pridemore is a former electronics research technician and electronics design engineer. He served on the Colleges and Universities and Education committees this session. He also chaired the Education Reform Committee in the 2007-08 session.

He said his next step is to call supporters to gauge whether he could raise the necessary money to mount a statewide campaign. Pridemore estimated he needs $50,000 in commitments for the first month of the campaign with an overall budget of between $250,000 and $500,000.

Pridemore said Evers has benefitted from the support of WEAC, but noted the union does not have the financial resources it’s had in the past because of the guv’s collective bargaining reforms.

“If I can’t raise at least $50,000 within about the first month, it’s not going to be an effective campaign,” Pridemore said. “I have to get commitments for that between now and Monday.”

-- By JR Ross

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

 1:15 PM 

Pluess won't seek recount in 72nd AD

Justin Pluess today announced he won't request a recount in the 72nd Assembly District race, citing the burden on taxpayers and local election officials.

Pluess, D-Wisconsin Rapids, trailed incumbent Rep. Scott Krug by 109 votes after the official canvass, a margin he said was under the threshold for a free recount. But he said in a statement, "The public and our hard-working clerks and election staff have had a long election season this year and they have more than earned a break."

"It is my hope, in doing this, that my opponent will acknowledge that this was an extremely close election and he must represent all the people of the 72nd District, Republicans, Democrats and independent voters -- not repeat the extreme party-line votes he took last session," Pluess added.

-- By Andy Szal

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

 3:36 PM 

King concedes 18th SD election

Sen. Jessica King today announced she has conceded her race against GOP challenger Rick Gudex after the completion of the official canvas in the 18th Senate District.

“Earlier today, I called Rick Gudex to thank him for a hard fought campaign, and to congratulate him on his victory last Tuesday," the Oshkosh Dem said in a statement. "I would like to thank all of my supporters, and volunteers for their energy, and enthusiasm these past two years -- working endlessly to help move Wisconsin forward."

King, who won her seat in a recall election over then-GOP Sen. Randy Hopper last year, did not concede the race after unofficial Election Day returns showed her trailing Gudex, R-Fond du Lac, by 590 votes. But she said today she looks forward "to continue working in the community to bring common sense solutions to Wisconsin’s most pressing issues.”

-- By Andy Szal

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

 5:12 PM 

WisPolitics Post-election Political Stock Report

--A collection of insider opinion--
(Nov. 7, 2012)


Barack Obama: In a battle of turnout machines, the president and his team beat a recall-honed ground game led by Gov. Scott Walker and RNC Chair Reince Priebus. Obama's 53 percent-to-46 percent win over Mitt Romney proved to be half of his 14-point margin over John McCain in the state four years ago. But it extends a GOP losing streak in prez races that began in 1988 and makes Republicans wonder if they can ever take ownership of the state's 10 electoral votes. Insiders say Republicans can take solace in that Obama's win appeared to have little effect in congressional and legislative races down ballot.

Tammy Baldwin: Madison's congresswoman makes history by taking down a Wisconsin political legend, 51 percent to 46 percent. In beating Tommy Thompson, she becomes the first woman elected to the Senate from Wisconsin and the first openly gay candidate elected to the chamber. With the addition of Baldwin and others, the number of women in the Senate climbs to the highest level ever -- 20, according to unofficial results. Baldwin gets credit from insiders for crashing through two glass ceilings with a well-funded, disciplined campaign that pulled in a lot of under-30 voters, according to exit polling. Baldwin and her team aggressively defined Thompson early in the race while fending off charges that she was “too extreme” for Wisconsin. But observers wonder how she'll get along with a philosophical opposite, conservative Ron Johnson, in the Senate.

Campaign spending: The presidential and Senate races along with a targeted House race in the 7th CD boost campaign spending in the state to record levels. National reports and FEC filings show at least $73 million in candidate and interest group spending in the Senate race, $45 million in prez-related ad spending, $8.4 million in total spending in the Sean Duffy-Pat Kreitlow 7th CD race and millions more in legislative races around the state. That's all on top of the estimated $93.5 million spent in the 2012 recall elections for governor, lieutenant governor and four state Senate seats.

Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble: The two Republican freshmen cruise to re-election in their northern Wisconsin House seats despite Obama's win. Margins suggest they have the opportunity to burrow into those seats and hold on to them for a long time, insiders say, perhaps cementing a 5-3 GOP advantage in the congressional delegation for years to come.

Senate Republicans: They're back in the majority, and almost with the same number of seats they had in early 2011 before all the recalls. Coming back with 18 seats, insiders say, will allow them to avoid the GOP nightmare of a 17-16 majority that could have allowed Dems to hold up Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda by picking off caucus moderates like Dale Schultz on various votes. Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald and his team get there with Tom Tiffany in the northern 12th and with Rick Gudex in the Oshkosh-area 18th -- assuming his almost 600-vote lead holds up after the canvass and a possible recount. The pending 18-15 majority gives them breathing room for next session, making it easier to pass Walker's budget and move on other agenda items like mining.

Turnout: Presidential turnout comes in at around 3 million, a 70 percent mark just short of the record 74.8 percent in 2004. There's a drop-off down ballot (could voters have been turned off by the negative Senate race, some wonder?). But the top number impresses election-watchers and calms Dems who worried a shorter in-person absentee voting window, alleged minority intimidation tactics, tighter residency requirements for students, and confusion over the court-challenged photo ID law would suppress the vote.


Paul Ryan: The Janesville congressman falls well short of what insiders viewed as one of the biggest reasons Mitt Romney added him to the presidential ticket - delivering Wisconsin. Still, Ryan wins re-election to his House seat - albeit by a smaller margin than he's used to - and comes out of the 2012 race as a frontrunner for the presidential nomination in 2016. Republicans pin on Ryan little of the blame for Romney's loss in Wisconsin and other swing states, though there's plenty of second guessing on whether it would have been better to put Sen. Rob Portman on the ticket considering how much closer Ohio was in the end. Insiders say Ryan avoided major gaffes on the campaign trail and proved an able and enthusiastic candidate who can cross generational lines. But they also say he faces challenges in how he and fellow House Republicans approach the political realities of avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff. Agreeing to revenue increases could erode Tea Party support while road-blocking a solution could damage him with middle-of-the-road voters who already may be wary of some of his conservative beliefs.

Wisconsin Republicans: They won back control of the state Senate, maintained a big margin in the Assembly and held the seats of two House freshmen. Then why are they feeling so bad? Insiders say it's a realization that in presidential years, the top of the state ticket remains stubbornly blue -- despite the help of Reince Priebus at the RNC and Scott Walker in the guv's office. Mitt Romney's defeat wasn't much of a surprise to many GOP strategists. But they come away from Election Day saddened and stunned by Tommy Thompson's loss to Tammy Baldwin.

Bipartisanship: Post-election talk of bipartisanship often comes after hard-fought November elections. Propelling the talk is serious fatigue from recalls, the most contentious two-year legislative session in memory and what many perceive as a general desire by leaders to get back to “normal.” Some insiders also see signs of more civility at the Capitol as Gov. Scott Walker looks to set the stage for a 2014 re-election run and veteran Rep. Robin Vos, who has forged working relationships with Dems, looks to chart a different kind of speakership than Jeff Fitzgerald. But cynics say Republicans may talk nice but will continue to ram through agenda items like a pro-mining bill.


Tommy Thompson: The Thompson brand takes a major hit with the loss to Baldwin. The 70-year-old Thompson, the state's longest-serving governor and national health secretary, had flirted previously with a return to public life after leaving HHS and even tried an ill-fated bid for the presidency in 2007. But after watching Ron Johnson come out of nowhere to beat Russ Feingold two years ago and Scott Walker take the guv’s office, he decided now was the time for a comeback. Shortly before winning the primary in August, Thompson declared that if he made it through that race, he’d be a shoe-in for the general. And that, some say, was his downfall, never realizing just how much the environment had changed since his last bid in 1998 and misunderstanding the dynamics of modern-day politics. Thompson backers are stunned that he lost to a Madison liberal who was little known outside her district at the beginning of the campaign. But insiders on both sides say Thompson was just another Republican on this Election Day and that Baldwin ran the superior campaign.

Roger Rivard: The freshman GOP rep from northwestern Wisconsin loses by fewer than 600 votes after publicity for his “some girls rape easy” comment. Had he kept his mouth shut, Republicans say, he probably would have won. He's among five legislative incumbents to lose on Election Day -- three Republicans and two Dems, including Sen. Jessica King of Oshkosh if her loss holds up.

Assembly Dems: In a presidential election year when their candidate wins by 7 percentage points, they make no overall gain against a Republican majority. Insiders chalk it up to a number of factors, including a map Republicans drew to give them an inherent edge in Assembly races for the next decade. Others point to a disparity in help from outside groups as a significant factor in coming back at just 39 seats in the 99-member chamber. But critics charge Assembly Dems weren’t aggressive enough in trying to raise money on their own or recruit top-notch candidates who could benefit from the natural bump their party gets in turnout during presidential years.

 4:06 PM 

Miller stepping down as Senate Dem leader

Senate Dem Leader Mark Miller announced this afternoon he is stepping down from his post at the end of the legislative session.

Miller, of Monona, made the announcement after Dems lost their majority in yesterday's election.

-- By JR Ross

 1:44 PM 

Voter turnout matches expectations

Just over 3 million voters cast ballots for president in Wisconsin according to unofficial returns, matching the prediction of state elections officials.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting statewide as of this afternoon, a total of 3,045,448 votes had been cast for Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and five third-party candidates for president. The total doesn't account for the remaining precincts or any ballots that did not include any of those candidates for president.

Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy had forecast turnout of at least 3 million votes, or just under 70 percent of the state's voting age population.

-- By Andy Szal

 12:21 PM 

Milwaukee Co DA refers complaint on use of federal Job Corps vans to take voters to polls

Milwaukee County Assistant DA Bruce Landgraf said he has referred a complaint to FBI that a federal Job Corps van was used to ferry program participants to the polls on Tuesday.

"If it were a state employee using a state vehicle it might warrant an investigation of possible misconduct in public office," he said.

The program provides education and career technical training to those aged 16 to 24 and is administered through the U.S. Labor Department.

James Roberts, the director of the Job Corps center, was not immediately available. The receptionist said he was the only person who could take media calls.

The FBI was on hand at the call center that Milwaukee established to receive election-related complaints. Landgraf said 66 complaints involving unruly observers were received.

"Many of those complaints involved unhelpful observers trying to be helpful-- by that I mean they were giving directions to people about where to vote. The problem is that they were not always right," he said.

Landgraf noted that his team received 107 complaints during the 2008 election and 44 during the recent unsuccessful recall election of Gov. Scott Walker. However, this does not include allegations of voter fraud, and those numbers will not be known for some time.

"We got the perennial sampling of octogenarians who took out an absentee ballot then went to the polls," Landgraf said, adding that three of those complaints have come in so far and only one may have resulted in a double vote.

A Greendale man who registered to vote raised suspicions that he may not have been who he claimed to be because the telephone number he gave was not in service when poll workers called it with a question about his registration.

"He just gave an old number," Landgraf said. "He lived where he said he lived."

Landgraf said he suspects more of those complaints will come in soon.

Complaints that ineligible felons voted can take months to surface because voters names will have to be compared to the list provided by the Government Accountability Board, he said.

-- By Marie Rohde

 12:14 PM 

King says she won't concede 18th SD race

Sen. Jessica King said in a statement today she won't concede the election in the 18th Senate District.

"I would like to thank all the volunteers and supporters who put their heart and soul into my campaign. I am humbled by their support and I work hard every day as their State Senator because I know, by working together, we can move Wisconsin forward," said King, D-Oshkosh. "That is why I am not conceding this race until every vote is counted and verified. After last night this race is to close to call and will wait until the county clerks have completed their canvass."

Unofficial returns showed King trailing GOP challenger Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac by 590 votes out of 85,488 cast.

Gudex said in a statement that he has been declared the winner and that he's "ready and eager to get to work for all of the hard working residents of the district."

-- By Andy Szal

 2:01 AM 

Farrow says Kapenga conceded, but holding off on declaring victory

Paul Farrow said fellow GOP state Rep. Chris Kapenga has conceded their primary for the open 33rd SD, but the Pewaukee Republican is holding off declaring victory until more numbers come in.

With 77 percent of the vote in, Farrow had 27,449 votes, or 52 percent, to 25,052 for Kapenga, or 48 percent.

Farrow said much of the vote still out was in the 97th Assembly District and part of his seat, while all of the precincts in Kapenga's district are in.

"They looked at the numbers we were looking at and saw there probably wasn’t a way to make up the difference at this point," Farrow said.

Kapenga did not immediately return a message left on his cell phone.

Farrow credited his familiarity with voters as a major reason for his edge. He noted he has lived in the district his entire life and his mother Margaret Farrow held the Senate seat for more than a decade before becoming lt. guv.

"A lot of people knew me already," Farrow said.

UPDATE: With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Farrow has maintained his 52-48 edge over Kapenga.

-- By JR Ross

 1:28 AM 

Republicans poised to come back in Assembly with 60-39 majority

Republicans are poised to come back next session with a 60-39 majority in the Assembly after seeing three incumbents lose, according to Dem and GOP sources.

The GOP went into the election with a 59-39 majority with one independent. But thanks to redistricting, Dems needed to hold all of their seats and pick off three GOP incumbents just to come back at 39.

Dems Deb Kolste and Andy Jorgensen beat GOP Reps. Joe Knilans of Janesville and Evan Wynn of Whitewater, according to unofficial returns.

 With all precincts reporting, Dem Stephen Smith beat GOP Rep. Roger Rivard by 582 votes.

The Dem and GOP sources also indicated Dem Rep. Amy Sue Vruwink appeared poised to hold onto her Assembly seat in a narrow win over GOP challenger Nancy Vandermeer.

The sources also said freshman GOP Rep. Scott Krug narrowly edged Dem challenger Justin Pluess.

Those two seats were the closest of the 99 races in the Assembly.

-- By JR Ross

 12:45 AM 

Farrow leads Kapenga in Senate primary

While the 2012 campaign has largely come to a close, Wisconsin will have one more piece of electoral business this year -- a Dec. 4 special election to replace Rich Zipperer in the 33rd Senate District.

Two GOP assemblymen -- Paul Farrow of Pewaukee and Chris Kapenga of Delafield -- are vying to replace Zipperer, who left to join Gov. Scott Walker's office. With 62 percent of precincts reporting, Farrow leads with 53 percent of the vote to Kapenga's 47 percent.

The winner will not face a Dem opponent in the heavily Republican 33rd.

-- By Staff

 12:34 AM 

Gudex ahead in 18th with all precincts in; Republicans poised for 18-15 majority

GOP challenger Rick Gudex appears to have eked out a narrow win over Dem state Sen. Jessica King, according to unofficial returns.

With all precincts in, Gudex had 43,039 votes to 42,449 votes for King. 

That margin is almost 0.7 percent of the votes cast for the two of them. Under state law, a candidate who loses by less then 0.5 percent of the vote in a race can request a recount without having to pay for it. If the unofficial numbers hold up after the canvass, King would have to pay for a recount if she wanted one conducted.

In the other closely watched state Senate races, Republican Tom Tiffany has won the open 12th, which is now held by the retiring Jim Holperin, D-Conover. In the 30th, state Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, fended off Republican John Macco to win re-election.

Should the Gudex lead hold up, Republicans will be poised for an 18-15 majority next session. The heavily Republican 33rd SD is now vacant, and GOP Reps. Paul Farrow and Chris Kapenga were locked in a tight race for the Republican nomination. Whoever wins will be unopposed in the December general election to fill the seat because no Dem filed to run.

-- By JR Ross

 12:21 AM 

Wynn, Knilans lose seats; Vruwink and Rivard slightly down

Two incumbent Rock County Republicans have lost their Assembly seats, while another Democratic incumbent and GOP incumbent were trailing slightly late in their races.

GOP Reps. Joe Knilans of Janesville and Evan Wynn of Whitewater have lost both of their seats. Dem Rep. Andy Jorgensen, who moved into the 43rd AD after redistricting, has 16,691 votes to Wynn's 12,173, or 58 percent to 42 percent, with 97 percent reporting. 44th AD Dem candidate Deb Kolste took 15,348 votes to Knilans 9,431 votes, or 62 percent to 38 percent, with 92 percent of precincts reporting.

Meanwhile, 70th AD Rep. Amy Sue Vruwink, D-Milladore, was narrowly trailing her GOP challenger Nancy VanderMeer,  8,650 votes to 8,842 votes, or 49 to 51 percent. About 78 percent of precincts were in. Vruwink was a top GOP target after redistricting added significantly new territory to her district.

GOP Rep. Roger Rivard, R-Rice Lake, trailed Dem challenger Stephen Smtih 13,036 votes to 12,810 votes with 96 percent of the precincts reported. Rivard took a hit to his chances when comments he made about rape surfaced.

GOP Rep. Samantha Kerkman, R-Town of Randall, beat Dem Rep. John Steinbrink of Pleasant Prairie. Steinbrink was drawn into Kerkman's district through redistricting and was widely viewed as a heavy underdog in the strongly Republican seat.

-- By Jason Smathers

 12:14 AM 

Duffy calls for moving beyond 'partisan rancor'

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy said he's "overjoyed" at his re-election to Congress, calling on the country to "move beyond the partisan rancor and get serious about addressing the issues we have as a nation."

"We need to pass more job creating bills; not more spending bills," the Weston Republican said in a statement. "We need budgets that actually balance and cut deficits and debt. We must reform our tax code, eliminate loopholes and get government regulations and red tape out of the way of our small business job creators."

Duffy added he hoped the Obama administration "will be more open to working across the aisle in their second term, because these are challenging issues requiring common sense solutions and cooperation to solve."

-- By Staff

 12:01 AM 

Thompson says he won't run again, but not going away

Tommy Thompson told supporters in his concession speech that he will not run again, but "I'm not going away."

"I certainly am going to be supporting people do to the right things for the right reason, to build Wisconsin and build America," Thompson said.

The former guv and Health and Human Services secretary began his speech by thanking a series of people in the crowd that he has known over a political career that spans almost five decades.

He also thanked his family and told the crowd he ran because he was worried whether they would inherit a country that is free, fair and strong.

"I thought that was slipping away, and I wanted so much to help lead back America, to be the country of growth and opportunity, to build America for future generations," Thompson said. "That's why I ran."

Thompson joked with the crowd, "I certainly didn't need the job, and I guess I'm not going to get it" and that he'd already accomplished more than anyone in his hometown of Elroy every thought he would.

"I ran for the right reason, ladies and gentlemen, because I care so much, just like you," he said.

-- By Arthur Thomas

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

 11:37 PM 

Baldwin promises to be voice for middle class in Senate

Tammy Baldwin, the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Wisconsin and the first openly gay candidate to win a seat in the chamber, called her win over Tommy Thompson a victory for the middle class.

In her victory speech, Baldwin, D-Madison, hit on many of the themes that were central to her campaign, railing against special interests who have too much power and promising to work for a level playing field that will ensure the wealthy don’t play by a separate set of rules compare to middle-income Americans.

She recounted conversations she’s had on the campaign trail with voters who told her special interests have too much power and it was time for the people’s voice to be heard.

“The peoples’ voice was heard tonight, Wisconsin, and come January, your voice will be head in the United States Senate,” she said. "I am honored and humbled and grateful and ready to get to work."

Baldwin noted she will be the first female senator from Wisconsin, drawing a cheer from the crowd. She then told supporters she was “well aware” that she will also be the first openly gay member of the Senate. That prompted an even louder cheer from the crowd that ended with chants of “Tammy! Tammy!”

“But I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference,” she said.

“But in choosing me to tackle those challenges, the people of Wisconsin have made history,” she said, after saying she will work to represent struggling families, students, seniors, veterans, entrepreneurs and workers.

“I can't tell you how grateful I am for the trust you've placed in me,” Baldwin said. “And all I can do is work as hard as I can to keep trust.”

Baldwin, who left her 2nd CD seat to run for the office, reached out to those who did not vote for her in the race with Thompson.

“I will stand up for you and I ask you to work with me as we move this state forward,” Baldwin said. “I will be a senator for all of Wisconsin.”

She also recounted meeting Thompson for the first time when she was a 30-year-old freshman in the state Assembly and her GOP opponent was guv. She said Thompson was greeting freshmen at the executive residence when she told him she was Joe Baldwin’s daughter, who passed away before she was born. Thompson knew her father in college, and Baldwin said his face lit up at the mention of her father. From then on, he would often share various memories he had of her father.

“That meant the world to me. Tommy and I didn’t always agree,” Baldwin said, drawing a laugh. “In fact in this campaign we didn’t agree on much. But there can be no doubt he shares my love and all of our love for Wisconsin.”

Listen to the audio here.

-- By David Wise

 11:16 PM 

Final Senate margin coming down to the 18th

It looks like Republicans will have control of the state Senate in the next legislative session, but it's coming down to the 18th District in terms of what the final margin will be.

State Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, is on pace to win the open 12th, which is now held by the retiring Jim Holperin, D-Conover. That flip would give Republicans the majority.

State Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, is also looking like he will win re-election in the 30th SD.

That leaves the 18th, where GOP challenger Rick Gudex has a 3,655-vote lead over Dem Sen. Jessica King with 75 percent of the vote in. The city of Oshkosh, one of the areas of the district where King is expected to do well, is not yet fully in.

-- By JR Ross

 11:05 PM 

The GOP's Brown County problem

County-by-county results are still rolling in statewide. But one problem area for Republicans is already apparent – Brown County.

With 99 percent of the vote in, Mitt Romney had 50.4 percent of the vote to 48.4 percent for Barack Obama, according to unofficial returns. While the Republican has the edge, that margin isn’t nearly what insiders believed he would need to pull in to win statewide. By comparison, Scott Walker won 59 percent of the vote there in the June recall election.

In the Senate race, Tommy Thompson was running behind Mitt Romney with 49.2 percent of the vote to 47.8 percent for Tammy Baldwin. Libertarian Joseph Kexel was at 2.1 percent of the vote, accounting for some of the drop off between Romney and Thompson.

-- By JR Ross

 11:03 PM 

85th AD Dem Mandy Wright beats GOP candidate Snyder

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, 85th Assembly District Democratic candidate and teacher Mandy Wright  has defeated conservative talk show host and GOP candidate Patrick Snyder.

Wright captured 13,919 votes or about 50 percent, while Snyder had 13,008 votes, or 47 percent of the vote.

Wright will succeed outgoing Dem Rep. Donna Seidel, D-Wausau, who vacated her seat for her unsuccessful run for state senate.

 -- By Jason Smathers

 10:45 PM 

Ribble 'humbled and honored' by 8th CD win

U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble said he's "humbled and honored that the voters of northeast Wisconsin elected me to serve as their representative for another two years" following his projected win over Dem Jamie Wall in the 8th Congressional District.

"Although I was able to accomplish important goals during my first term in office, we’re just getting started and there is still much to be done," Ribble said in a statement from his campaign. "I promise that I will continue to work hard and serve the people of northeast Wisconsin the best that I can and help ensure a brighter and more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren."

-- By Staff

 10:32 PM 

AP calls 7th CD for Duffy

The Associate Press has called the 7th Congressional District race for incumbent GOP U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy.

Duffy is currently leading Dem challenger Pat Kreitlow 56 to 44 with 65 percent of the precincts reporting.

-- By Jason Smathers

 10:23 PM 

Crowd cheers MSNBC projection for Baldwin

Another round of cheers at the Monona Terrace as MSNBC showed its projection for Baldwin winning Wisconsin on the two large screens in the room.

On what has been a big night for Dems, a celebratory mood is evident as people are smiling and engaging in upbeat conversation as dance music plays over the audio system.

 -- By David Wise

 10:19 PM 

Near silence at Thompson party

The crowd at Tommy Thompson's election night party fell nearly silent as Fox News called Ohio for President Barack Obama.

When Fox called Iowa and Oregon for Obama, declaring he would be reelected, the crowd booed briefly.

The mood after the announcement the mood was clearly somber.

-- By Arthur Thomas

 10:10 PM 

Thompson party sees CNN call Wisconsin

The crowd at the Tommy Thompson election night party just saw CNN call Wisconsin for President Barack Obama.

Supporters booed the announcement and then promptly cheered as the network called North Carolina for Mitt Romney.

Shortly after the announcement, the televisions in the ballroom at the Milwaukee West Marriott in Pewaukee were switched to Fox News. The party had been watching Fox earlier in the evening.

Some supporters near the press area lamented the channel was changed while CNN was discussing Wisconsin.

-- By Arthur Thomas

 10:00 PM 

AP: Ryan wins 1st CD race

Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan is in Boston awaiting the results of the presidential race, but his congressional seat is secure.

The AP is projecting the Janesville lawmaker will hold off Kenosha Dem Rob Zerban.

-- By Staff

 9:48 PM 

Crowd preparing for Baldwin speech.

Volunteers are passing out Baldwin signs to the crowd in preparation for Baldwin's expected speech.

The animated crowd continues to cheer as additional states are called for Obama and Senate seats go to Dems.

-- By David.Wise

 9:46 PM 

Ribble projected to hold 8th CD

U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Sherwood, has been elected to a second term in Congress, the AP has projected.

With 39 percent of precincts reporting, Ribble leads Green Bay business consultant Jamie Wall by a 56-44 margin.

-- By Staff

 9:45 PM 

Pocan declares victory in 2nd CD

Mark Pocan said he's “up for the the fight” as he declared victory against Republican Chad Lee in his bid to replace U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in 2nd Congressional District.

Pocan thanked volunteers, his family members, and his husband, Philip Frank, for support during the campaign. He said Frank has been a “rock” for him during the campaign, and shared a brief kiss to cheers from the audience.

Pocan said that like his predecessors in the 2nd CD, he would work hard for progressive values, the middle class and those with lower incomes.

Pocan said he would not compromise his values, but would find ways to compromise to get things done in what he said has been a dysfunctional Congress.

He vowed to work to boost the economy and bring jobs back to the U.S. and Wisconsin, support tax fairness for the middle class and those who are struggling, work to implement the Affodable Care act and fight for a single-payer system, and to fight to protect Medicare.

And he pledged to stand up for people regardless of race, gender, religious affiliation or non-affiliation and sexual orientation.

“We have much to do,” he told the crowd. “I am up for the fight.”

 -- By David Wise

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