• WisPolitics

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

 9:40 PM 

Kulp to win 69th GOP primary

Bob Kulp, the founder and owner of a roofing and insulation company, is projected to win the GOP primary in the 69th AD.

With 51 of the 56 reporting units in, Kulp had almost double the votes of his nearest competitor.

According to unofficial returns, Kulp had 1,648 votes, Tommy Dahlen 830, Alanna Feddick 723 and Scott Noble 390.

The pro-school choice American Federation for Children Action Fund spent $45,095 boosting Feddick through mailers, robocalls and online ads, while the Wisconsin Liberty Movement spent $264 on postcards knocking Kulp.

But Kulp said the efforts of outside groups backfired in the race because they turned off voters.

Wisconsin Family Action Inc. reported spending $11 on robocalls promoting Kulp.

"I just sensed fatigue that 'I got two or more postcards in the mail today. Why don't the calls stop?' type of thing," Kulp said. "There was just a voter fatigue out there."

He advances to the Nov. 19 general election against Dem Ken Slezak to replace former GOP Rep. Scott Suder, who originally resigned the seat to work for the Public Service Commission but ended up turning down that job for a lobbying gig with the Wisconsin Paper Council.

UPDATE: 10:29 p.m. -- All reporting units are now in from ClarkMarathon and Wood counties. The unofficial results are:

Kulp 2,258
Feddick 1,272
Dahlen 1,013
Noble 624

-- By JR Ross

 9:25 PM 

Rodriguez wins GOP primary in the 21st

School choice advocate Jessie Rodriguez easily won the GOP primary for the 21st AD, according to unofficial returns.

According to the Milwaukee County Election Commission, Rodriguez won with 1,512 votes.

She was followed by Chris Kujawa (864), Ken Gehl (535), Larry Gamble (170) and Jason "Red" Arnold (73).

Rodriguez will face Dem Elizabeth Coppola in the Nov. 19 general election to replace former GOP Rep. Mark Honadel, who resigned for a job in the private sector.

UPDATE: 10:12 p.m. -- Rodriguez said her position on education resonated with voters, adding that was the biggest concern parents had when she was doing doors.

"I think a lot of them are seeing we do need choices," she said. "I thought it would be jobs or taxes, but definitely what came up all the time was education."

The pro-school choice American Federation for Children Action Fund spent $45,647 on mailers, online ads and robocalls to support her. That easily dwarfed what the other candidates raised in the race. Rodriguez pulled in $8,061 in the pre-primary period, almost twice what Kujawa raised.

-- By JR Ross

 9:06 PM 

Rodriguez out to big lead

School choice advocate Jessie Rodriguez has a significant lead in southeastern Wisconsin's 21st AD.

With South Milwaukee still out just after 9 p.m., it was:
Rodriguez 996
Ken Gehl 425
Chris Kujawa 372
Larry Gamble 111
Red Arnold 22

-- By JR Ross

 9:03 PM 

Kulp opens up lead in first returns out of 69th AD GOP primary

The first results are starting to come in for the 69th AD GOP primary in northcentral Wisconsin.

Results posted at the websites for the Clark County and Marathon County clerks just after 8:45 p.m. have it:

Bob Kulp 872
Tommy Dahlen 341
Alanna Feddick 280
Scott Noble 137

Results for Wood County were not yet posted at the clerk's website.

UPDATE 9:08 p.m. -- The first Wood County results are in. The updated numbers are:

Kulp 1,346
Dahlen 535
Feddick 497
Noble 269

-- By JR Ross

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

 6:00 AM 

Richards announces AG bid

Dem state Rep. Jon Richards announced this morning he will run for attorney general next year, promising he would be tough on crime and a “reliable partner” at DOJ for Wisconsin’s law enforcement community.

Richards, who was elected to his Milwaukee Assembly seat in 1998, touted his work in the Legislature on violence crime, drunk driving, domestic abuse and open government.

“The role of Attorney General is more than just about crime – it’s about our civil system of government, too," Richards said. "As attorney general, I’ll continue be a strong advocate for middle class families and a more open, transparent government. I’m running for attorney general because I believe Wisconsin needs an experienced, independent leader who can set politics aside and focus on real priorities for our state’s citizens.” aw enforcement can count on a reliable partner at the Department of Justice," continued Richards.

-- By JR Ross

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

 11:28 AM 

Walker calls special election to fill vacant 82nd AD

Gov. Scott Walker today called a Dec. 17 special election to fill the Assembly seat left vacant by Republican Jeff Stone's resignation.

Nomination papers can be circulated today through Oct. 22 under Walker's order.

A primary, if necessary, would be held Nov. 19, which is the same day as the special general elections to fill two other vacant Assembly seats.

-- By Staff

Monday, October 14, 2013

 4:18 PM 

Son of Sikh temple leader plans to challenge Ryan

Amardeep Kaleka, the son of the Oak Creek Sikh temple leader killed in an August 2012 shooting, intends to run for Congress against U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, according to reports.

Kaleka, 35, indicated he'd file paperwork to run as a Democrat in the 1st Congressional District this week, with a formal announcement set for next month.

"There's a fever in the nation, and specifically in this district, for our leaders to stop playing politics and do their jobs," Kaleka said. "All I want to do is bring democracy -- a government of, for and by the people -- back to America."

Satwant Singh Kaleka, founder of the Oak Creek Sikh temple and a small business owner, was one of six killed in the attack by a white supremacist last year. Amardeep has been an outspoken advocate for gun control legislation in the year since the shooting.

-- By Andy Szal

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

 1:32 PM 

Waukesha County DA Brad Schimel to run for AG

Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel has officially thrown his hat in the ring for attorney general after filing a campaign registration statement, according to a statement released Wednesday.

Schimel also unveiled endorsements for his candidacy from 17 district attorneys.

“I’m overwhelmed by the number of law enforcement leaders stepping forward to endorse my pending campaign for attorney general,” he said. “The Department of Justice plays a critical role in partnering with local law enforcement to enhance public safety across the state, and I’m honored by the trust and support law enforcement is placing in me.”

Schimel first expressed his interest in a run following the announcement from incumbent AG J.B. Van Hollen on Monday that he would not seek a third term in 2014.

-- By Staff

 10:02 AM 

Jauch won't seek re-election in 2014

Dem state Sen. Bob Jauch announced this morning he will not seek re-election in 2014.

Jauch, who turns 68 next month, was first elected to the Legislature in 1982 and won his Senate seat in 1986. He had hip replacement surgery in August, but was back in the building a month later.

Speaking in the Senate Parlor, Jauch called it an emotional decision and said he'd dedicated "1,000 percent of my effort" to representing northern Wisconsin over his 31 years in the Legislature. He said he isn't making this decision because he's too old, but because he's too tired to sustain his commitment another five years to his constituents.

He noted he has traveled almost 750,000 miles, has been involved in some of the most contentious issues in the Legislature in his career and has made more sleepless nights the past 3.5 years than at any other time in his career.

"I simply do not have another 125,000 miles in my tank," he said.

-- By Staff

Monday, October 7, 2013

 6:22 PM 

Burke criticizes Act 10, declines to discuss repeal

In her first public appearance since declaring for the race, Dem guv candidate Mary Burke said public employees should have the right to collectively bargain, "but I think that we should also be looking at how we move forward."

"There were certainly changes that needed to be made, but Act 10 was not the way I would have done it as governor," Burke said during a press conference prior to a meeting of the Madison School Board.

She did not say whether she would push to repeal the 2011 law restricting collective bargaining for public workers as governor, instead saying Wisconsinites should be able to "sit down at the table" to hash out differences, while making sure "that the state comes out comes out of it stronger, not divided and weakened."

Burke, who announced her candidacy in a web video released early this morning, said she made the long-anticipated decision to challenge Gov. Scott Walker after "talking to the people of Wisconsin" and making sure that "the resources would be available to mount a strong campaign."

"I was anxious to get started as soon as those questions were answered," Burke said.

She did not reference Walker by name, but said she's running because "we deserve better leadership ... that puts problem-solving ahead of politics."

Burke said jobs would be the focus of her campaign, saying the state should "invest where we need to" to bolster the state's hallmark industries as well as small businesses. Dems have hammered Walker over the progress made on his pledge to create 250,000 jobs in his first term.

"We're going to focus on what the priorities are, and the people of Wisconsin are saying it's jobs," Burke said.

Burke said she had a "proven track record" of solving problems on the school board, as secretary of the Commerce Department during the Doyle administration and as an executive at Trek Bicycle, which was founded by her father.

"Wisconsin's been very good to me and to my family, and I'm running for governor because I want to make sure we're creating the opportunities, the jobs, so Wisconsin is good for all families for many generations to come," Burke said.

-- By Andy Szal

 9:25 AM 

Van Hollen won't seek re-election

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced this morning he will not seek re-election.

Van Hollen, elected to the post in 2006 and re-elected in 2010, said he first ran to restore integrity to the office. He said he put public safety first and now DOJ enjoys a healthy partnership with the law enforcement community that has led to better investigations, prosecutions and "hopefully prevention of crime."

"I am proud of these accomplishments and I remain deeply committed to the Department of Justice's mission and continuing our successes throughout the remainder of my term," Van Hollen. "The decision not to run will allow me to focus exclusively on the remaining tasks without the distractions of a campaign. I believe no person should be Attorney General for life, or for too long. Our democracy requires a balance of experience and fresh views. For my family, for me, and this office, it’s time to give Wisconsin voters new choices."  

Van Hollen has drawn the ire of both Dems, who viewed him as too partisan, and Republicans, who didn't view him as partisan enough. But he said in his statement that he put "the law and rule of law above politics."

-- By JR Ross

 6:42 AM 

Burke announces for guv's race

Madison School Board member and former Trek executive Mary Burke announced this morning she will run for guv in 2014.

In a video sent out this morning to announce her candidacy for guv, Burke said the state is ranked 45th in the country for projected job growth and she’s running because “we can do better.”

“Just like Washington,our state capitol has become so focused on politics and winning the next political fight it’s pulling our state apart and our economy down,” she said. “But it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Republicans have tried to use Burke’s time as Commerce secretary against her by tying her to Gov. Jim Doyle. But she touted that work in the video, saying she helped reopen the mill in Park Falls, brought Uline to Kenosha, and helped businesses start and grow. She said the state had 84,000 more jobs at the time than it does today.

“That’s how you strengthen the economy, because when you worry less about winning the argument and more about the things that really matter -- like good jobs and schools that lift up our kids -- well, you can make a world of difference,” she said in a bike workshop with Trek bicycles in the background.

UPDATE: State GOP Executive Director Joe Fadness called Burke an “out-of-touch Madison millionaire.”

“A vote for Mary Burke is a vote to take Wisconsin backward,“ Fadness said. “Burke was part of the team that left Wisconsin with a $3.6 billion budget deficit, big tax hikes, and massive job loss – a mess that was fixed by Governor Scott Walker.”

-- By JR Ross

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