Voters set ballot for Nov. 2 electionCandidates who rose to the top after Tuesday’s election are already making plans for the next phase of the election process.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
The voters have spoken, setting the ballot for the general election Nov. 2.
Candidates who rose to the top after Tuesday’s election are already making plans for the next phase of the election process.
In Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race, it’s a match up between Milwaukee County and the city.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, handily defeated Milwaukee businessman Tim John with nearly 90 percent of the vote, including 87 percent of the Democratic votes cast in Douglas County.
His running mate will be Assembly Majority Leader Tom Nelson of Kaukauna, who garnered 52 percent of the vote in the four-way race and 57 percent of the Democratic vote in Douglas County. Nelson joined the fray in May, launching his campaign in several communities around the state, including Superior.
Barrett was planning to hit the road today, with stops planned for Green Bay, Wausau, Altoona and Onalaska.
On the Republic side of the ticket, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker earned nearly 60 percent of the vote statewide, more than 70 percent of the vote in Douglas County, and now joins forces with former broadcast journalist Rebecca Kleefisch in the run for state office. Kleefisch received nearly 47 percent of the vote statewide, although she didn’t garner much support in Douglas County, where Superior Mayor Ross captured nearly 89 percent of the vote in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor.
“As our movement to take back our government continues to sweep across our great state, I hope you will continue to help us connect with the voters across Wisconsin,” Walker wrote in an e-mail sent to supporters shortly after midnight.
U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold ran unchallenged in the Democratic primary Tuesday. He now faces Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson as the Republican nominee after a landslide victory statewide.
Johnson captured about 85 percent of the vote, soundly defeating David Westlake of Watertown and Milwaukee native Stephen Finn.
“We’ve won the primary, but we have a tough election ahead,” Johnson said.
Following his defeat, Westlake issued a statement extending his congratulations to Johnson and pledging his support in November.
“We are all part of the greatest political party in our nation’s history - and it’s time for us to lead our country forward,” Westlake wrote. “I stand firmly behind the Republican Party and all our candidates and am committed to working closely with them as we work towards victory in November.”
Feingold also offered his congratulations to his opponent in the upcoming election.
“Last week I accepted invitations to participate in six general election debates so I look forward to Mr. Johnson joining me for the first one this Sunday in Eau Claire,” Feingold said.
7th District Congress
After 41 years of service, U.S. Rep. Dave Obey, D-Wausau, is retiring, leaving voters without an incumbent on the ballot.
Both Democrats and Republicans running for the seats had two candidates running in the primary.
State Sen. Julie Lassa, who announced her candidacy in May. In July, Superior businessman Don Raihala threw his hat in the race.
Statewide, Lassa garnered 85 percent of vote in her bid for the Democratic nomination. Raihala found his strongest support in the district’s northernmost counties – Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron and Washburn counties, where he garnered 20 percent or more of the vote.
Lassa now faces former Ashland County District Attorney Sean Duffy in the Nov. 2 election.
Duffy, who gathered two-thirds of the Republican vote district wide over Rudolph farmer Dan Mielke, garnered more than 81 percent of the vote in Douglas County.
Lassa, who ran the primary focused on plans to clean up Washington D.C., was in Wausau today unveiling the first part of her jobs plan, campaign spokeswoman Haley Morris said.
Duffy, who plans to hit the road again Thursday, is focusing efforts on job creation and fiscal responsibility in Washington D.C. He issued a challenge to Lassa this morning to debate in all 20 counties that make up the 7th Congressional District.
“I propose that we hold one 60-minute debate in each county in the 7th Congressional District, and that we open these debates up to county residents so that they may hear our plans and ideas firsthand,” Duffy said. “By doing this, we offer voters a better opportunity to hear our ideas and plans for themselves, and then make an informed decision on Nov. 2.”
Morris said Lassa had received the challenge letter and it is being seriously considered.
“Julie welcomes opportunities for voters can to see the differences between her plans to clean up Washington and Sean Duffy’s dangerous policies that reward corporate outsourcers and special interests,” Morris said.
Douglas County voters
Traditionally Democratic Douglas County had more Republican voters head to the polls on Tuesday.
While 51 percent of voters who marked a party preference on the ballot favored Democrats, nearly 53 percent of voters cast their ballots in favor of Republican candidates.
Among those candidates was Superior Mayor Dave Ross who ran a 22-month campaign for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in a five-way race. In Douglas County, the mayor of the county’s largest city garnered nearly 89 percent of the vote despite gaining only 15 percent of the vote statewide.
While the state Government Accountability Board anticipated statewide turnout to reach 28 percent in Tuesday’s primary, about percent of registered voters in Douglas County cast ballots. That matches statewide turnout, according to a report by the Associated Press.
If the 19 percent figure holds, it will be the highest primary turnout since 22 percent voted in 2002, the Associated Press reported.
When voters head to the polls in November, they’ll face a number of additional choices as state Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, faces a challenge from Rice Lake businessman Dan Deutsch, a Republican, and state Rep. Nick Milroy, D-South Range faces Superior school board member Bonnie Baker in November. In Tuesday’s primary, the candidates for state senate and assembly – none facing a primary race – were nearly evenly-matched in terms of votes in Douglas County. Baker garnered 1,916 votes to Milroy’s 1,922 in the county, while Jauch earned 1,893 votes to Deutsch’s 1,979.
Douglas County Clerk of Courts Joan Osty and Sheriff Tom Dalbec are running unopposed in November.