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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

 9:10 PM 

Feyen wins GOP nomination in 18th SD

Fond du Lac County Chair Dan Feyen won the GOP nomination in the 18th SD over former pastor Mark Elliott.

According to unofficial returns collected by The Associated Press, Feyen had 5,215 votes, or 56 percent, to 4,097 votes, or 44 percent, for Elliott with all precincts reporting.

Elliott, who lost a bid for the Assembly in 2014, was hit by a TV ad campaign in the closing weeks of the campaign that accused him of wanting to raise taxes on others but failing to pay his property taxes. A GOP source pegged the buy at $170,000, which is unusual for a state Senate primary for an open seat.

Feyen said it's hard to tell how much of an effect the ad campaign made in his race, adding he believed his message of closing the skills gap and fixing the transportation fund resonated with voters.

Feyen said he will continue that message against Winnebago County Exec Mark Harris, who cruised in his Dem primary.

Feyen called him a "tax-and-spend liberal who's never met a tax hike he didn't like."

"I think that plays well in this district," Feyen said. "There are a lot of conservative people in this district that want conservative leadership."

Harris questioned Feyen's message, saying he has reduced county spending since becoming executive, cut the tax rate and slashed its debt in half.

"If they think that's a tax-and-spend, I think they better go back and take an economics class," he said.

The 18th SD, which includes the Oshkosh and Fond du Lac areas, is considered the most competitive state Senate race this fall.

-- By JR Ross

Editor's note: This post has been updated with reaction from Feyen and Harris.


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