• WisPolitics

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

 11:31 PM 

Rodriguez wants to focus on education in Assembly

First-time GOP candidate Jessie Rodriguez was trying to calm her nerves all day before election results came in, so she was relieved to finally see the votes fall in her favor as she defeated Dem Elizabeth Coppola for the 21st Assembly District seat.

I'm extremely happy that it turned out the way it did," Rodriguez said. "All the work I put in definitely paid off and I think it shows that I can relate to them (the voters)."  

While Rodriguez will become the first minority member of the Assembly GOP caucus in decades, she doesn't want that to solely define her as she enters the Assembly.

"I'm proud of my ethnic background and I'm proud of being a woman," Rodriguez said. "But it's because I want to make a difference that I ran and that's exactly what I've told people I want to do."

Rodriguez says she'll have to talk to leadership before she voices any preferences for committee assignments, but she hopes to focus on improving manufacturing in the district as well as education. While Rodriguez, the outreach coordinator for Hispanics for School Choice, certainly ran a pro-voucher campaign, she said that she wants to focus on education in every form, whether it be choice schools, charter schools or public schools.

-- By Jason Smathers

 10:13 PM 

Skowronski wins 82nd AD primary

While former Greendale Village Trustee Stephanie Mares somewhat narrowed her gap with Franklin Alderman Ken Skowronski, the final results show Skowronski has won the 82nd AD primary.

Skowronski took 50 percent of the vote, compared to Mares, who only took about 38 percent of the vote. Freelance economist Shari Hanneman brought in about 5 percent of the vote.

Skowronski told WisPolitics.com that he's "very gratified" by the win, but reminds supporters that "we're only half way there." He hopes that he can highlight his ability to sit down and "talk things out" with those on the other end of the political spectrum and his constituents in search of public policy solutions.

"I'm very involved and I listen to my constituents," Skowronski said. "I call them back. I'm just for my community, and I'll be representing three communities now. I have no problem on sitting down with people on the other side of the aisle, sitting down and finding a compromise and finding a way forward for Wisconsin."

Skowronski said he tried not to pay attention to newspaper ads taken out attacking his integrity, though he did note that he reported the incident to the Government Accountability Board. He insists he's put that behind him quickly and wants to focus on the general election. He hopes to be able to highlight his private sector experience, especially as a past president for a national remodeling association, when facing Democratic candidate and Greendale Village President John Hermes.

"I have the ability to sit down with CEOs, small contractors, people that make jobs and that do jobs and that is the economy and that's what its all about," Skowronski said.

 -- By Jason Smathers

 9:49 PM 

Skowronski looks to easily win 82nd AD primary

Though we're still waiting on the village of Greendale and its five precincts, with about 85 percent of precincts reporting, Franklin Alderman Ken Skowronski has a huge lead over his GOP competitors.

Skowronski has 1,358 votes to former Greendale Village Trustee Stephanie Mares' 688 votes and freelance economist Shari Hanneman's 258 votes.

-- By Jason Smathers

 9:39 PM 

Rodriguez wins AD 21

The numbers are in from South Milwaukee and essentially seal it for GOP candidate Jessie Rodriguez in the 21st AD.

Rodriguez won South Milwaukee by 42 votes, 1,753 to Elizabeth Coppola's 1,711. That brings vote totals, with 83 percent of precincts reporting to 4,374 for Rodriguez and 3,438 for Coppola. Only two small precincts in Franklin have yet to report, though they could not swing the results for Coppola at this point.

Update: Franklin reports in and we have final vote totals for the 21st.

Elizabeth Coppola: 3,520 votes (44 percent)
Jessie Rodriguez: 4,546 votes (56 percent)


 9:30 PM 

Kulp wins easily in 69th

Roofer Bob Kulp cruised to victory in the open 69th AD today, beating Dem Ken Slezak with almost two-thirds of the vote for the northcentral Wisconsin seat.

With all but two precincts in, Kulp had 4,622 votes to 1,631 for Slezak. Tim Swiggum had 588 votes.

Kulp will replace former GOP state Rep. Scott Suder, who resigned the seat this summer to take a job at the Public Service Commission. He then switched course just before taking that job to instead become a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Paper Council.

UPDATE: 9:49 p.m. -- With all precincts now reporting, the final unofficial results are:

Kulp 4,697 votes, or 67.3 percent
Slezak 1,677, or 24 percent
Swiggum 607, or 8.6 percent

-- By JR Ross

 9:24 PM 

GOP calling 21 AD for Rodriguez; Skowronski maintains lead as Greenfield results come in

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has already congratulated Jessie Rodriguez for winning the 21st AD, though we're still waiting for results from South Milwaukee and the two precincts in Franklin. However, given the size of Rodriguez's lead in Oak Creek over Dem Elizabeth Coppola, it's very likely she'll win that race after the final results come in.

Meanwhile results from Greenfield show Alderman Ken Skowronski maintaining a significant lead.

With about 27 percent of precincts reporting, Skowronski has 413 votes compared to Stephanie Mares, who has 224 votes, and Shari Hanneman, who has 67 votes. We're still waiting for Greendale and the rest of Franklin.

-- By Jason Smathers

 9:00 PM 

Kulp on his way to victory in 69th AD

Roofer Bob Kulp appears on his way to a win in northcentral Wisconsin's 69th AD after building up a significant early lead on Dem Ken Slezak.

With a little more than half of the precincts in for Clark, Marathon and Wood counties, Kulp had 2,888 votes to 1,111 for Slezak. Tim Swiggum, running under the Putting People Ahead of Politics banner, had 391 votes.
-- By JR Ross

 8:53 PM 

First results from 82nd primary show early lead for Skowronski

So far, only three wards from the 82nd AD have reported results, but the first indications are an early lead for Franklin Alderman Ken Skowronski over his GOP contenders.

Skowronski has 195 votes, while competitor and former Greendale Village Trustee Stephanie Mares has 70 votes and freelance economist Shari Hanneman has 46 votes.

On a separate note in the 21st AD, while the Milwaukee Election Commission still hasn't received those Oak Creek numbers tweeted out earlier, they said Oak Creek constitutes half of the reporting locations in the district. That means, with 50 percent of the vote, GOP candidate Jessie Rodriguez leads Dem candidate Elizabeth Coppola with about a 60-40 split in the vote.

 -- By Jason Smathers

 8:37 PM 

Early results from Oak Creek show Rodriguez with a lead over Coppola

While the Milwaukee County Election Commission says it hasn't received any election returns yet, the City of Oak Creek has started tweeting out its unofficial results, which show GOP candidate Jessie Rodriguez with a substantial early lead over Dem candidate Elizabeth Coppola in the 21st AD race.

With all six districts of Oak Creek reporting, Rodriguez leads Coppola by 894 votes: 2,621 votes for Rodriguez to 1,727 for Coppola.

We'll update when there are unofficial totals being reported by Milwaukee County.

 -- By Jason Smathers

 8:00 PM 

The polls have closed

The polls have closed in special elections in the 21st, 82nd and 69th Assembly District races.

-- By Staff

 8:18 AM 

Polls open for Assembly special elections

The polls are open in two special elections to fill open Assembly seats and a GOP primary to pick the Republican candidate for a third.

In southeastern Wisconsin's 21st AD, Dem Elizabeth Coppola faces Republican Jessie Rodriguez to replace former GOP Rep. Mark Honadel of South Milwaukee, who resigned for a job in the private sector.

In north central Wisconsin's 69th, Republican Bob Kulp faces Dem Ken Slezak to replace former GOP Rep. Scott Suder of Abbotsford, who now works for the Wisconsin Paper Council. Tim Swiggum, who challenged Suder as a Dem in past elections, is now running for the seat under the Putting People Ahead of Politics banner.

The GOP primary in the Milwaukee area's Wisconsin's 82nd AD features Shari Hanneman, Stephanie Mares and Ken Skowronski. The winner will face Dem John Hermes Dec. 17 to replace former GOP Rep. Jeff Stone of Greendale, who resigned his seat to go to the Public Service Commission.

-- By Staff

Monday, November 18, 2013

 10:25 AM 

Lehman to run for lt. guv

Dem state Sen. John Lehman announced today he will run for lt. guv next year rather than seek re-election to his Senate seat.

Lehman, D-Racine, lost his Senate seat in the 2010 GOP wave, but won it back two years later in the recall elections. The district has since been dramatically redrawn to have a heavy GOP lean, and Republican Van Wanggaard, who lost to Lehman in 2012, has already announced plans to run for the seat again, while fellow Republican Jonathan Steitz is running for the seat as well.

Lehman touted his win in the 2012 recalls "where voter turnout, organization and inspired volunteers were key" as evidence he knows how to win.

He also said he is "excited and encouraged" by the candidacy of Mary Burke for guv, while acknowledging others may get into the race. Fellow Dem state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout has been weighing a run.

“I have known Scott Walker and his extreme approach since our days together in the Assembly beginning in 1997. I know, as well as anyone, the need to defeat him," Lehman said in announcing his candidacy.

-- By JR Ross

Thursday, November 7, 2013

 11:22 AM 

Dane County DA Ozanne gets in AG race

Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne registered with the GAB today to run for attorney general and touted his 13 years experience as a prosecutor in telling supporters of his decision to run.

Ozanne spent 10 years in the DA's office before Gov. Jim Doyle tapped him to serve as executive assistant at the Department of Corrections. Ozanne was serving as deputy secretary when Doyle appointed him in 2010 to the DA's job.

The people of Wisconsin want an attorney general who is an experienced front-line prosecutor with a deep commitment to working on behalf of all the people of Wisconsin in order to enforce the law, protect and uphold the constitution, and protect our shared values," Ozanne wrote in an email to backers that his campaign distributed. "That is who I am and that is what I will bring to the attorney general’s office."

Ozanne joins state Rep. Jon Richards of Milwaukee on the Dem side for the office. Waukesha County DA Brad Schimel has filed to run as a Republican.

-- By JR Ross

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