Fall 2014 primary
JANESVILLE—It went down to the wire, and Rep. Janis Ringhand narrowly defeated Austin Scieszinski to advance as the Democratic candidate in November's general election for the 15th Senate District.
According to unofficial returns, Ringhand won Tuesday's three-way primary with 39.7 percent of the vote.
Scieszinski finished less than 300 votes behind and tallied 37.9 percent of the ballots cast.
Former Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan finished a distant third with about 22 percent of the vote.Read more...
JANESVILLE—Blackhawk Technical College’s president said he believes voters may have shot down a $4 million spending referendum Tuesday because they were leery the referendum had no sunset.
Voters in Rock County rejected the referendum handily, with nearly 60 percent voting “No.”
If it had passed, the referendum would have allowed the college to tap the local tax base to annually boost its spending $4 million beyond state-imposed revenue caps.
The referendum had no sunset, meaning it would have been a perpetual addition to the college’s annual budget.Read more...
JANESVILLE—Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden held off a determined challenge from Gary Groelle to win the Democratic primary Tuesday.
With no Republican candidate for sheriff on the Nov. 4 ballot, it appears Spoden, 51, will serve a third, four-year term as head of the sheriff's office.
Spoden won with 56 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results reported by the Rock County Clerk's Office.
Spoden on Tuesday night was already thinking ahead to his third term. He called the campaign his most “intense” but nothing he didn't expect.Read more...
ELKHORN—Undersheriff Kurt Picknell is planning for a smooth transition as the person who will more than likely become the next Walworth County sheriff.
Picknell won the Republican primary election Tuesday night, beating Ken Brauer, a Walworth County sheriff's deputy, by 3,311 votes.
No Democrats will be on the ballot for sheriff in November, but Csaba Keller, town of Walworth, is running as a Democrat write-in candidate.Read more...
MILWAUKEE—A 72-year-old Vietnam veteran who pledges to be a political moderate has won the Democratic primary for Wisconsin treasurer, a position that holds almost no power.
David Sartori of Cudahy defeated 64-year-old Dave Leeper, a Madison attorney who focuses on criminal and estate law.
State lawmakers have removed nearly all the powers from the treasurer’s office in recent years. But it would take a constitutional amendment to eliminate the office, a move that would require approval by the Legislature in two subsequent sessions and a vote of the people.Read more...
MILTON—Leon Hebert, 76, won the primary election in the Republican 43rd District Assembly race.
Hebert, Fort Atkinson, inched out a victory over competitor Herschel Brodkey, 19, of Janesville, with a 761-715 vote.
Both Republicans were first-time candidates.
Hebert will face incumbent Andy Jorgensen, D-Milton, in the November election.
Hebert was unwilling to provide comment Tuesday night, saying he wasn’t sure the vote totals were official.Read more...
JANESVILLE—About 18 percent of Rock County's eligible voters went to the polls for Tuesday's partisan primary.
Rock County Clerk Lori Stottler was accurate in her pre-election prediction that Tuesday's voter turnout would be between 16 and 18 percent.
Statewide turnout was expected to be about 15 percent.
Stottler cited the local primaries for sheriff, clerk of courts and the 15th Senate District as draws, as well as a spending referendum for Blackhawk Technical College.Read more...
MILWAUKEE—Republican Party activist Julian Bradley has won the GOP Wisconsin primary for secretary of state, defeating state Rep. Garey Bies.
Neither candidate launched much of a campaign. Lawmakers have whittled away so many of the responsibilities in the office that the job is nearly obsolete.Read more...
MILWAUKEE—A small business owner who wants to eliminate the office he is running for won the Republican primary for state treasurer.
Matt Adamczyk of Wauwatosa defeated Randy Melchert, a government-compliance attorney, on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old Adamczyk says he’s running for treasurer so he can eliminate the office. He says he’ll start by cutting its three staff positions, which would save about 80 percent of the budget.Read more...
MADISON—State Sen. John Lehman of Racine has won the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.
Lehman defeated Madison activist Mary Jo Walters in Tuesday’s primary. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch had no challenger for the Republican nomination.
Lehman is a former high school teacher who served eight years in the state Assembly and four in the state Senate before losing in 2010. However, he ran in the June 2012 recall election and defeated Republican Van Wanggaard.Read more...
JANESVILLE—Jacki Gackstatter beat Sue Enloe and Peter Severson on Tuesday night in the Democratic primary election for Rock County clerk of circuit courts.
Gackstatter received 47.92 percent of the votes with a total of 6,756 ballots cast in her favor. Enloe got 4,118 votes. Severson received 3,200.Read more...
BELOIT—Voters elected Beloit City Council President Mark Spreitzer over fellow Councilwoman Sheila De Forest in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in the 45th Assembly race.
“I want to thank the voters for having faith in me and certainly want to thank Sheila for a spirited and positive campaign and raising some important issues,” he said.
With no Republicans running in the November election, he likely will take over for incumbent Rep. Janis Ringhand, D-Evansville, who ran in the Democratic primary for the 15th Senate seat.Read more...
MADISON—Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ has won the Democratic nomination for attorney general.
She beat Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne and state Rep. Jon Richards, of Milwaukee in Tuesday's primary.
Happ will face Republican Brad Schimel in the Nov. 4 general election. Schimel, the Waukesha County district attorney, is the only GOP candidate in the race. Incumbent Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen isn't seeking a third term.Read more...
JANESVILLE—Rob Zerban easily held off Amar Kaleka on Tuesday to become the Democrat's standard-bearer in the race to defeat Rep. Paul Ryan.
It didn't take long for the gloves to come off.
Ryan, fresh from his Republican primary win, issued a statement characterizing Zerban as wanting to expand federal spending, while Ryan wants to focus on creating jobs.
“That's interesting. Where was his focus in his last 16 years in Congress in creating jobs?” Zerban responded. “He hasn't done it yet. He had enough time to make it happen, and he has done anything but create jobs in the 1st Congressional District.”Read more...
JANESVILLE—As expected, Paul Ryan easily dispatched Jeremy Ryan—no relation—in Tuesday's Republican primary for the 1st Congressional District seat.
Jeremy Ryan ran a quiet, no-budget campaign, saying he wants to take the Republican Party in a progressive direction. Few heard the message, and fewer voted for it.
Attention now turns to the main event: Ryan versus Zerban.Read more...
MADISON—Former Trek Bicycles executive Mary Burke has easily defeated state Rep. Brett Hulsey in the Democratic primary for governor.
With Tuesday's win, Burke advances to face Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the Nov. 4 general election.
Hulsey was never a serious threat to Burke, raising next-to-no money for the race, hiring no staff and largely being shunned by Democratic Party leaders.Read more...
MADISON—Democrats hoped Mary Burke would have an easy path toward challenging Gov. Scott Walker this fall, and by most accounts she has.
The party backed Burke's candidacy, she's raised millions of dollars, run television advertising statewide and focused all of her attention on stopping the Republican Walker from being elected to a second term in November.
Only one person stands in her way before she faces Walker — state Rep. Brett Hulsey, of Madison.Read more...