Erpenbach claims fourth term in 27th Senate District
Jon Erpenbach (I) 51,717
Kurt Schlicht 31,891
Democrat Jon Erpenbach easily returned to the state Senate for his fourth term.
Erpenbach, D-Waunakee, defeated Republican Kurt Schlicht, a Cross Plains tavern owner.
In Rock County, Erpenbach won 63 percent of the vote. He claimed 56 percent in Green County.
Erpenbach could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Erpenbach was first elected to the Senate in 1998 and was re-elected in 2002 and 2006.
This time, however, Erpenbach likely will return to a GOP-controlled Senate. At press time, Republicans were poised to take control of the Senate.
Erpenbach previously told the Gazette he has demonstrated ability to work on both sides of the aisle.
"My job is to go the Capitol and work with whoever is there," he said.
Schlicht returns his focus to his positions as village trustee and Dane County Board member.
"We figured it was going to be an uphill road," Schlicht said.
He wished Erpenbach well on Tuesday night and said the race wasn't personal.
"It was a nice and professionally run race on both our parts," he said.
What his campaign lacked money, it made up for that by working hard and burning through shoe leather, he said.
He plans to take time off from the campaign trail but said another run for state office was possible.
Jobs and the economy were the top issues in the race, and Erpenbach told the Gazette last month that tax credits for businesses should be targeted in a smart way—directly tied to job creation.
Unemployment benefits must be extended, he said.
"The other thing is just to make sure businesses fully understand our doors are open," he said then.
When lawmakers return to tackle a $2.8 billion budget deficit, Erpenbach previously said BadgerCare and K-12 education should be priorities.
The health insurance program for low- or no-income residents is very important, he said, because many people receiving benefits paid into them with their taxes when they were working.
The state must figure out ways for its agencies to be more efficient and should take a fresh look at contractors, he said.