The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Dems look to sweep Wisconsin state races

 

November 8, 2018



By RICHARD JENKINS

rjenkins@yourdailyglobe.com

MADISON, Wis. — It took until 1:24 a.m. Wednesday for the Associated Press to call the race, but Democrat Tony Evers will be the next governor of Wisconsin, defeating Republican incumbent Scott Walker’s bid for a third term in office in Tuesday’s election.

In a race that initially appeared to be headed for a recount, Evers received 1,324,648 votes to Walker’s 1,293,799. In Iron County, it was Walker who came out ahead; getting 1,788 votes to Evers’ 1,264 votes. Libertarian Phillip Anderson received 7 votes in the county, Wisconsin Green candidate Michael White received 12 votes locally, independent Maggie Turnbull received 17 votes and Wisconsin Party candidate Arnie Enz earned 4 local votes.

While there had been a possibility of a recount, the AP reported Walker conceded the race Wednesday afternoon.

Evers’ victory is a monumental win for Democrats and a steep fall for Walker, who just three years ago was seen as an early front-runner in the GOP primary for president. When Walker dropped out of the presidential race, he focused on rebuilding his low approval ratings in Wisconsin.

Walker had promised if he won the third term would have been his last, but voters decided that two was enough.

Evers, 67, a former teacher and state superintendent since 2009, used his folksy, nondescript personality to his advantage in the campaign, using words like “jeepers” and “holy mackerel” while arguing that voters were tired of divisiveness and yearned for more collegial politics.

The win gives Democrats a boost after President Donald Trump narrowly carried Wisconsin by less than 1 percentage point in 2016. It also puts Evers in position to dismantle much of what Walker and Republicans did over the past eight years, including rolling back portions of the law that effectively ended collective bargaining for public workers.

Evers is one of several Democrats who sought to flip or retain control of the state offices on the ballot — with two others winning their races and one leading in a race that the AP deemed too close to call.

Democratic incumbent Doug La Follette won his 12th term in a powerless SOS office Tuesday evening, defeating Republican Jay Schroeder, a mortgage loan officer from Neenah.

La Follette received 1,380,202 votes — or 53 percent — to Schroeder’s 1,233,404 votes. La Follette failed to win Iron County, receiving 1,365 votes to Schroeder’s 1,664 votes.

Republican lawmakers have stripped the secretary of state’s office of nearly all of its duties over the years. The secretary’s only real tasks now are sitting on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands and issuing international authentication certificates for documents.

Democrat Sarah Godlewski, of Madison, defeated Republican Travis Hartwig, of Oak Creek, to replace outgoing state Treasuer Matt Adamcyzk. The treasurer has no real tasks except to sit on the Board of Commissioners of Public Land and track unclaimed property. Godlewski wants the office to review state finances and protect senior citizens from financial exploitation. Hartwig wants the office to help with audits of state and local government. Neither of them can do anything unless legislators hand the office more powers.

Godlewski received 1,323,586 votes — or 51 percent — to Hartwig’s 1,215,553 votes.

Iron County voters want a Republican in the state treasurer’s office with 1,658 residents voting for Hartwig, while 1,323 Iron County voters cast their ballots for Godlewski. Constitution Party candidate Andrew Zuelke received 49 votes in Iron County.

Zuelke received 2 percent of the vote state-wide.

While the AP didn’t declare a winner, Democrat Josh Kaul is leading Republican incumbent Brad Schimel in the state’s attorney general race.

Kaul had 1,310,300 votes to Schimel’s 1,287,627 votes state-wide.

Schimel carried Iron County with 1,712 votes. Kaul received 1,302 and Constitution Party candidate Terry Larson received 39 votes.

Larson received a total of 47,152 votes.

Kaul is the son of the late former Democratic Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager and served as a federal prosecutor in Baltimore but hasn’t played up his background on the campaign trail, choosing instead to focus on attacking Schimel. He says Schimel took too long to test thousands of unanalyzed sexual assault evidence kits , allowing testing delays at the state crime labs to grow, spending taxpayer money on commemorative coins for local police and failing to get control of the state’s opioid crisis. Schimel has pushed back by playing up his efforts to award safety grants to schools and painting Kaul as an outsider with little prosecutorial experience.

Editor’s Note: The AP contributed to this story.

 
 

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