Attorney general, congressional races top primary

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Associated Press | August 12, 2014

MADISON — A hot race for Congress and a few tight contests for the state Legislature are the top draws in Tuesday's Wisconsin primary that is expected to draw lower-than-usual turnout without a top-tier statewide race on the ballot.

But the primary is especially important for those candidates who face only nominal, or no, challengers in the Nov. 4 general election.

Election officials predicted a 15 percent turnout, less than in 2010 when both parties had competitive gubernatorial primaries. This year, former Trek executive Mary Burke faces a nominal challenge from state Rep. Brett Hulsey in a Democratic primary that will determine who gets to take on Gov. Scott Walker, who is unopposed in the Republican primary.

Two of the highest profile races are a four-way Republican primary to help determine who will succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Tom Petri and a three-way contest among Democrats hoping to replace retiring Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican.

Five of the eight congressional districts have primary races, as well as five of the 17 state Senate districts and 26 of the 99 Assembly districts. In 10 Assembly districts — five Republican and five Democratic — the winner will face no challenger in the general election.

The Democratic primary for attorney general pits three candidates who largely share the same views on most of the largest law enforcement issues in the state. Two are district attorneys — Ismael Ozanne in Dane County and Susan Happ in Jefferson County. The third, Jon Richards, is a state representative from Milwaukee.

The winner faces Republican Brad Schimel, the Waukesha County district attorney.

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