Applicant Field for Supreme Court Vacancy Narrowed

Gov. Scott Walker narrowed the field of Supreme Court applicants from 11 to five after the first round of interviews took place on June 13. The five finalists include: Appeals Court judges Mark Gundrum and Thomas Hruz, Jefferson County Judge Randy Koschnick, Marinette County Judge James Morrison, and attorney Daniel Kelly.

Milwaukee area attorney Daniel Kelly previously requested his name be kept confidential until the list of finalists was released.

Those who did not make it to the second round of interviews include: Appeals Court Judge Brian Hagedorn, Public Service Commission Chair Ellen Nowak, attorney Claude Coveli and former Dane County Judge Jim Troupis.

The five finalists are vying to replace retiring Justice David Prosser, whose last day on the bench will be July 31. Gov. Walker has stated he hopes to have a replacement selected by this time. 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.

The finalists are:

  • 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.

  • Attorney Daniel Kelly from Milwaukee, served on Justice Rebecca Bradley’s campaign.

  • 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, Branch 2 of the Marinette County Circuit Court, appointed by Walker in 2012.