• WisPolitics


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

 11:32 PM 

Happ: Voters simply said they want 'equality' in Wisconsin

Jefferson County DA Susan Happ didn't have the name ID of state Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee, when the AG race began and seemed fairly evenly matched with him when it came to their campaign finance numbers as it wore on.

And Richards' campaign touted a statewide campaign his backers said Happ simply couldn't match.

But with the polls closed and the votes almost counted, Happ has a won the primary with a commanding lead over both Richards and Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne.

Happ pushed her electability versus Waukesha County DA Schimel during the campaign, but in a brief interview Tuesday night, she said she felt voters agreed with her message to end the "divisiveness" in Wisconsin politics and the AG's office.

"It's very rewarding that that message was not only heard, but well received," Happ said. "I think that was a key to my success."

But when asked if her win represented a desire for voters who want a female face in state government, Happ started by saying they recognized the "War on Women" in the state. She noted that she's pledged to strive for the right for "a woman to make her own health care decisions" and equal pay for women. She also said that voters probably recognized that women are "underrepresented" in government in general.

"We want equality in our state, and we want to get back to the things that matter," Happ added.

Happ will face an immediate financial disadvantage to Schimel, who amassed a warchest larger than the entire Dem field of candidates for the primary and will start with far more cash on hand than Happ.

But Happ, who has the backing of the influential abortion rights PAC EMILY's List, said she will just do what she's done up to this point: Work hard and "spend smarter."

"I want to protect our values and citizens, not just the powerful," Happ said. "It's clear to me that he's cut from the same 'divide and conquer' cloth, and the people want something better."

Ozanne and Richards weren't available for comment following their concession speeches, but Sachin Chheda, a spokesman for Richards said Happ is proof that the Democrats have a "strong team" to take on Schimel and Gov. Scott Walker in November.

-- By Jason Smathers


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