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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Purple State Going Red

MILWAUKEE (CN) - The status quo was largely maintained through elections in the land of beer, cheese, union-crippling and gun-loving Democrat sheriffs.

Wisconsin's highest state and federal offices remain in the hands of conservatives and Republicans, including those of Gov. Scott Walker, who handily defeated his opponent, former Trek Bicycle executive Mary Burke, in his third gubernatorial election.

In a more scintillating race, Republican Brad Schimel beat Democrat Susan Happ for state attorney general.

The pair's battle was marked by accusations far juicier than the plagiarism allegations heaped on Burke. Most recently, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin accused Schimel, the Waukesha County district attorney, of making racist and sexist comments at statewide prosecutor-training sessions. Happ's campaign focused heavily on women's issues.

The party, of course, refused to name the participants they say informed them of the comments, and Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Niess said he saw nothing untoward when he viewed footage of the sessions that Democrats want released.

These accusations came after Schimel's camp accused Happ and of cutting a deal with an alleged "child molester" whom she and her husband had sold property to in the past.

The sale concluded in 2009, Happ argued, and the 2013 case was handled, in accordance with Supreme Court rules, by an assistant Jefferson County district attorney. Schimel's gang, of course, was not buying it, even after the Office of Lawyer Regulation dismissed the complaint relating to the alleged misconduct.

But the Milwaukee County Sherriff's race proved the most entertaining at the ballot box.

Incumbent sheriff David Clarke Jr. catches the ire of many a liberal - he runs as a Democrat, the preferred party of Milwaukee County, while espousing conservative beliefs about gun control, speaking at Republican events and accusing fellow Democrats of penis envy. The man is far from dull.

The "People's Sheriff" defeated Democratic Party favorite Chris Moews to win the primary in August, but little did we know he would face-off against the stronghold of American political parties.

Yes, the Draft Bernie Sanders for President Party, via candidate Angela Walker, made off with a full 21 percent of the votes for Milwaukee County Sherriff. Walker, whose last name is deliciously ironic, is described as a "free-range socialist."

On a federal level, five of Wisconsin's eight House of Representatives seats went to Republicans, including former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and current state Sen. Glenn Grothman.

This purple state is looking at a red few years - and, if the rumors bear out, Wisconsin will be taking the national stage in 2016, Republican-style.

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