Polls open in Wisconsin for Supreme Court race

Michael Screnock

Dallet is challenging Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock for a spot on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Democrats hailed the win as another sign of momentum for liberals this year. A new election is then scheduled for that seat in the first year when there's no other supreme court election on the ballot (that is, two seats can't go up for election in the same year). "People in the Midwest are tough", said Jack Pender, Screnock's campaign manager.

Both candidates were backed by partisans.

"Big government special interests flooded Wisconsin with distorted facts & misinformation", Walker tweeted. Walker had endorsed Screnock.

Speaking about her win, Dallet told the Washington Post, "The candidate with the most experience in our courts and standing up for the fairness of our courts won". That wasn't enough to make up for the lead she built up in Madison and Milwaukee.

REBECCA KLEEFISCH: The man on the ballot who is about to address you could potentially hold the future of Wisconsin's success in his hands. With Dallet's win, six of the seven members of the court are now women.

Conservative Justice Michael Gableman did not seek a second 10-year term.

The Wisconsin governor, who is up for re-election this fall, sent out a tweet warning his fellow Republicans about an impending "blue wave" across the state.

Martha Laning, the chair of Wisconsin's Democratic Party, touted Dallet's win as a blow to Screnock and Gov. Scott Walker, who appointed Screnock to the bench. She was running for a seat now held by Michael Gableman.

Michael Screnock
Michael Screnock

Polls have closed in Wisconsin where a race for the state Supreme Court is drawing national interest. That was almost a complete reversal from 2016 when Donald Trump carried the county, 52-41, in the presidential race. The victor will be elected to a 10-year term on a court now controlled 5-2 by conservatives.

Fraley said his party needed to understand that the "honeymoon" was over after sweeping Wisconsin's elections in 2016.

Turnout in Madison was strong in the morning as a cold rain fell across the reliably liberal capital city. The statewide average is about 21 percent. Both candidates in the general election portray themselves as law-and-order candidates, with even the more-liberal candidate eschewing specific stances on political policy, especially if it could come before the Court. It is an election that is expected to have low voter turnout, but is being monitored on a national scale.

The National Rifle Association has endorsed Screnock. Although candidates technically do not have party affiliation, the state party can work on the candidate's behalf.

Several voters in the state said they were motivated to vote against Screnock because of his NRA support.

Steve Anderson, 70, also said he voted for Dallet.

A spring snowstorm could be a player in Wisconsin's election day.

A statewide referendum to eliminate the constitutional office of state treasurer - which would have consolidated many statewide powers into Walker's domain - also failed, as voters made a decision to keep that post intact as a potential check on the governor within the executive branch. "But there's been a year and a half of activism, getting people organized and excited before this race".

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