Skip to comments.Eight Primary Contests Worth Watching (Wisconsin)
Posted on 07/22/2014 4:53:55 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin
Voters and insiders alike are still getting used to August primaries after years of post-Labor Day elections.
So while voter turnout is expected to be low on Aug. 12, some top races are getting the attention of insiders because of their political implications and the personalities involved.
In total, voters around the state have 40 partisan primary contests to choose from. Because many of them are in very Democratic or Republican-leaning districts, the primaries likely will decide who will next hold the office.
Here's a look at some of the top primary contests less than a month out from primary election day:
Attorney general, Democrat
Insiders see this as the top statewide primary as three Democrats vie to compete against Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel for the open attorney general post being left vacant by Republican J.B. Van Hollen. Two of the Dems are fellow DAs -- Susan Happ of Jefferson County and Ismael Ozanne of Dane County; and one is a departing legislator, state Rep. Jon Richards of Milwaukee.
Richards, criticized by some for his lack of prosecutor credentials, has collected some top union endorsements and won the WisPolitics.com straw poll at the state Democratic convention. Happ is backed by EMILY's List, among others. And Ozanne is betting on a relatively big turnout in politically minded Dane County.
Other statewide primaries include: governor (Democrats), secretary of state (Republicans), and treasurer (Dem and GOP).
Three legislators dominate the field in the race to succeed longtime Congressman Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac. Rep. Duey Stroebel and Sens. Joe Leibham and Glenn Grothman are battling in the primary along with first-time candidate Tom Denow. Both Leibham and Stroebel are airing ads and slinging arrows, but insiders say not to count out Grothman, who got to office by knocking off Mary Panzer in a primary.The winner meets Winnebago County Exec. Mark Harris.
4th Congressional District, Democrat
Former state Sen. Gary George, who lost a recall and served prison time on a federal kickback conspiracy charge, is challenging incumbent Dem Gwen Moore in a race that could spike African-American turnout on primary day.
Other congressional primaries include: U.S. Reps. Paul Ryan's 1st CD (two Democrats), Ron Kind's 3rd CD (three Republicans), Gwen Moore's 4th CD (two Republicans), and Sean Duffy's 7th CD (he's being challenged and two Dems are vying for the general election).
Milwaukee County sheriff, Democrat
The controversial conservative Sheriff David Clarke is getting another challenge from Milwaukee Police Lt. Chris Moews, who got 47 percent in 2010. Conservative talk radio is warning its listeners that Clarke could be in trouble unless Republicans cross over and vote in the Dem primary since Richards' campaign likely will turn out a lot of Moews voters.
See an "UpFront with Mike Gousha'' interview with Moews: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=327252
See more on Clarke from a WisPolitics.com luncheon interview here: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=320319
Racine-area's 21st Senate District, Republican:
Some right-wingers question former state Sen. Van Wanggaard's conservative credentials in this GOP-dominated seat being vacated by state Sen. John Lehman, the Racine Dem who beat Wanggaard in a recall but now is running for lt. gov.
Wanggaard defends his record, which includes voting for Act 10. But Jonathan Steitz says he's more "reliably conservative." Some conservative groups have joined Steitz' cause despite Congressman Paul Ryan and Speaker Robin Vos endorsing Wanggaard.
See more from a Wanggaard interview on "UpFront": http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=327252
See more from a Steitz interview on "UpFront": http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=326777
Rep. Jon Richards' Milwaukee seat, 19th Assembly District, Democrat
One of the more crowded Assembly primaries Aug. 12 is in the liberal Milwaukee East Side district being vacated by Richards, who's running for attorney general. The four-person field includes Marina Dimitrijevic, chair of the Milwaukee County board.
Sen. Dale Schultz' Richland Center-area seat, 17th Senate District, Democrat
Most Dem leaders are openly backing Pat Bomhack over Ernie Wittwer as the preferred candidate to face Rep. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, for the seat being vacated by GOP moderate Dale Schultz. Bomhack is a Spring Green attorney who used to work for Russ Feingold and Jim Doyle. Wittwer, endorsed by western Wisconsin state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, has wide experience in the transportation field.
The area has been trending Democratic, and the seat is key if Dems are to have any hope of taking back the state Senate in the fall.
Sen. Tim Cullen's Janesville-area seat, 15th Senate District, Democrat
The primary race for this Dem-dominated seat is attracting attention because of former Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan's attempt to get back into the Legislature after losing his Assembly seat after bad publicity over payday loan legislation. Sheridan, with the backing of some unions, is battling state Rep. Janis Ringhand, D-Evansville, and former Cullen aide Austin Scieszinski.
The winner would meet Brian Fitzgerald, a Janesville city councilman and businessman.
Lots of ‘interesting’ personalities this time around. Looking forward to the Gwen Moore race. Tee-Hee. A convicted FELON on our side, running against the dumbest woman EVER to hold office in our state.
I mean, seriously? That’s all we got? *SIGH*
But I'll play along and vote for George (and throw a vote Brett Hulsey's way for good measure) when I go to support Sheriff Clarke.
Convicted felon against the mother of a convicted felon - from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwendolynne_S._Moore
“Moore’s son, Sowande Ajumoke Omokunde, aged 26, was arrested in connection with the November 2, 2004, (election day), tire-slashing of Republican party vehicles in Milwaukee; he was charged with a felony in connection with the event on January 24, 2005, but agreed, on January 20, 2006, to plead no contest in exchange for a sentencing recommendation of restitution and probation. On April 26, 2006, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Michael Brennan sentenced Omokunde to serve four months in prison and to pay $2,305 in fines and restitution. In response, Moore said, “I love my son very much. I’m very proud of him. He’s accepted responsibility.””
We have one republican running for a seat in the statehouse who was convicted of sexual misconduct about 3 years ago. He was caught with his pants around his ankles as he was peeking in the windows of a neighbor He calls it ancient history.
He’s a zero chance loon who excites democrats more than republicans.
How well I remember!
My strategy, as well. Wish I would vote for Clarke! Our Dane County Sheriff is SUCH a weenie. *Rolleyes*
Wisconsin primary battles. What DianainWisconsin said at the top!
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wiscinsin interest ping list.
Stroebal aired such a nasty new ad this AM that I got my husband out of the shower to watch it. There are offorts on the side of Grothman that I will not discuss here. I hope they are successful.
A convicted felon who does NOT live in the district he seeks to represent.
Oh, I know that!
We have Stroebel signs all over the place.
That is because he is in real estate and owns interests in property all over. I hear he made a fool of himself at the Republican Forum last week. His new ad is disgraceful.
I hope Glenn wins. I’m hacked off - I’m not in his district any more. boo hoo.
Did help him out with a little $$$ though, and he IS THE best candidate. My 2 cents.
I’m sitting here writing Glenn another check right now. Polls show Glenn in first place, but the Stroebal ads are nasty, nasty.