11 Applicants Vie for Open Wisconsin Supreme Court Seat

Eleven applications have been submitted to Gov. Scott Walker to replace Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Prosser, who announced his retirement in early May. The seat opens on July 31 after Prosser’s resignation takes effect.

The applicant selected by Walker will hold the seat until it opens for an April 2020 election. Many consider this to be a legacy appointment by Walker considering some of the younger applicants may sit on the state’s highest bench for over three decades.

Notable applicants of interest to those in the lobbying business include:

  • Judge Mark Gundrum, Wisconsin District II Court of Appeals, appointed by Walker in 2011. Served as Waukesha circuit court judge from 2010 to 2011 and was a state representative from 1998 to 2010.
  • Judge Brian Hagedorn, District II Court of Appeals, appointed by Walker in July 2015. Also served as chief legal counsel for the governor and was an assistant attorney general at the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
  • Public Service Commission Chairperson Ellen Nowak, appointed by Walker in 2011. Also previously served as chief of staff to Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas and legal counsel and chief of staff to the Speaker of the Assembly.

Other applicants include:

  • Attorney Andrew Brown of River Falls.
  • Attorney Claude Covelli of Madison, a former candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2015.
  • Judge Thomas Hruz, Wisconsin District III Court of Appeals, appointed by Walker in 2014.
  • Judge Randy Koschnick, Jefferson County Circuit Court. Koschnick served as a public defender prior to his election to the Jefferson County Circuit Court, and ran against Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson in 2009.
  • Judge James Morrison, Marinette County Circuit Court.
  • Attorney Paul Scoptur of Milwaukee.
  • Judge James Troupis, Dane County Circuit Court, appointed by Walker in May 2015. Also served as Prosser’s legal counsel during the 2011 election recount.

The eleventh candidate requested confidentiality.